Dealing With Smoky Skies - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Dealing With Smoky Skies

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Our air quality in Reno is taking a hit this week, but not quite as bad you may think. 

"During the wildfires our air quality has fluctuated into good, moderate, and sometimes unhealthy for sensitive groups," said Daniel Inouye of the Washoe County Health District. 

It could be worse though. During 2013's fire season the air quality fell into at least the unhealthy category. 
 
"We have seen worse times during other fires such as the Rim and American fire," said Inouye. 

Up until Wednesday night the wind had been blowing out of the west during the day keeping the smoke away from the Reno area. With smoke funneling into the valley Wednesday evening the air quality at the Sparks air quality station was in the upper moderate range. You can thank the thunderstorms for all the smoke coming in. 

"A down burst of winds and that creates kind of downward motion and that creates that kind of outflow boundary. Flow of winds from right underneath the thunderstorms," said Evan Laguardia of the National Weather Service. 

The wind was coming out of the northeast too. Funneling all of the smoke down to the valley floor. Your body can be the best judge of the air quality. It affects everyone differently. 

It's pretty bad, I got a cough all night and was really congested. Felt like I had a cold almost," said Sparks resident Alex Contos. 

By morning, Alex was feeling a lot better. The smoke is a lot worse to the east. 

"Make sure at night you close your windows cause it could be dangerous for breathing, people with asthma. Stuff like that," said Laguardia. 

What we really need is for the fires to go out, but the weather can help us out too. 

"Most of the time you get that zephyr wind during the summertime in this area that's a west wind from the sierra and that will blow out our smoke," said Laguardia. 

When thunderstorms form, the wind direction can be more sporadic, and the smoke could very well funnel into the valley. 
 

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