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Updated D.C. forecast: Worst air quality in years, with Code Red and Purple conditions



7:15 a.m. — Widespread Code Red and Purple air quality, worst in years

Residents in the Washington and Baltimore regions are awakening to their worst air quality in years. EPA air quality monitors are reporting widespread Code Red and Code Purple conditions, signifying unhealthy conditions for most people and especially those with respiratory concerns. Toward Baltimore, some monitors are reading Code Maroon, signifying hazardous “emergency” conditions, unhealthy for everyone.

Under these conditions, people are advised to limit or reduce time outside, avoid strenuous exercise and/or wear a N95 or KN95 mask.

For the latest on the smoke and air quality conditions, see: Wildfire smoke and pollution live updates

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

5/10: Mild enough to please folk, but all this smoke is no joke!

  • Today: Smoke-filtered sun and a light breeze. Highs: 75-79
  • Tonight: Hazy, light breeze. Lows: 54-58
  • Tomorrow: Increasing clouds with p.m. scattered showers/storms possible. Highs: 73-77

The pall of smoke is likely to be with us at least today, and it’s still not clear when this assault on our eyes and lungs will be over. The smoke should at least lessen somewhat toward the weekend, but a few showers are likely to pop up Friday afternoon. More meaningful rain relief should hold off until early next week. Temperatures are generally pleasant but for a brief heat spike Sunday.

Today (Thursday): Another surge of smoke is likely to reach the area this morning and then gradually ease in the afternoon. The sun will shine meekly through, keeping highs comfortably in the upper 70s. North breezes are light. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Skies remain hazy, so it’s uncertain whether the duo of Venus/Mars in the evening sky will glow through. Breezes remain light from the northwest overnight with lows mainly in the mid-50s. Confidence: High

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest weather updates. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Friday): Another surge of smoke is possible over the area. Clouds begin to pop up by midday, and a few showers and thunderstorms are possible later in the afternoon if the smoke is not strong enough to suppress them. Light northwest winds persist. Highs are mainly in mid-70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Any showers should quickly dissipate after sunset. Hopefully, the haze will dissipate as well with clearing skies overnight and lows in the low-to-mid-50s. Confidence: Medium-High

Skies are sunny and hopefully less hazy Saturday morning, but clouds become more abundant in the afternoon. Temperatures should creep a little higher to peak in the lower 80s. Overnight clears with lows in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday is partly sunny and dry. South winds build as a storm develops out in the Midwest. This pushes highs into the upper 80s, but humidity remains on the low side. Overnight lows hold in the mid-to-upper 60s. Confidence: Medium-High


Clouds are in good supply Monday and, as the Midwest storm nears, showers and storms are likely and could bring better than a half inch of rain to the area by late day. Highs should peak in the low-to-mid-80s before the showers. Confidence: Medium

Source: Washington Post

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