It’s been a tough October for Seattleites, weather-wise. Intermittent wildfire smoke and warm temperatures throughout the month made for an unusual fall experience in Seattle, culminating in a record-breaking day of heat this past Sunday. Now Seattle is in its second consecutive day of claiming the unfortunate title of the city with the worst air quality in the world. Seattleites are being urged to stay inside due to the unhealthy air quality.
Read on for all the details.
Seattleites woke up yesterday (Wednesday, October 19) and earlier today to an air quality index as high as the 200+ range throughout the city. This was the worst air quality in the world.
A normal AQI range that is considered healthy is 0-50. The current AQI in Seattle that is hovering around 200 is considered “very unhealthy,” which means that there are health risks for everyone and especially for sensitive groups. An unhealthy air quality alert is currently in effect for Seattle.
This high AQI put Seattle in the number-one spot for worst air quality globally this morning. Portland, Oregon was right below it in the second spot.
For the second day in a row, Seattle has the worst air quality of any big city on the planet. pic.twitter.com/3zc7ZPUVlb
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) October 20, 2022
At the time of publication, Seattle has been nudged out of the top spot by Delhi, India which currently has an AQI of 263 to Seattle’s 245. You can check for live updates of the global air quality ranking yourself at any time.
The poor air quality is due to wildfire smoke making its way across Seattle from the Bolt Creek Fire near Skykomish. The Bolt Creek Fire was caused by humans in early September. Firefighters have been working ever since to contain the wildfire, although conditions have been too unsafe for them to fully extinguish it as Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz Tweeted:
Please know if there were any additional action we could take to lessen this smoke and put fire out sooner, we would have taken it. Although the #BoltCreekFire’s spread has been stopped, the terrain makes it unsafe for firefighters and aircraft to engage.
— Hilary Franz (@Hilary_FranzCPL) October 14, 2022
Relief from the wildfire smoke is expected to arrive tomorrow in the form of rain that will last from Friday through Monday. This weekend’s storm will be the most rain that Seattle has seen in four months.
For today, however, keep yourself and your loved ones (including pets) as healthy as possible by referencing our guide to protecting yourself from wildfire smoke.