Above: In this satellite photo taken during the afternoon of November 16, smoke from wildfires is clearly visible in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Smoke from wildfires in the South continues to drift across Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
When the Air Quality Index (AQI) is between 101 and 150 due to smoke (the brown color in the AirNow map below) persons with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk. If the AQI is 151 to 200 (red in the map below) according to AirNow everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Many of our readers in the comments sections are asking about the smoke conditions in various locations. Keep in mind that the distribution of smoke is entirely dependant on the location of the fires and the wind direction. A large fire may affect areas in almost any direction if the wind blows it that way. For instance, it can be clear in Gatlinburg, TN one day and the next day it can be smoky.
It can be difficult to predict the impacts of smoke more than a day or two into the future. For one thing, exact wind direction and speed are hard to forecast accurately. And fire activity is even trickier to predict. New fires can break out, older ones can run out of fuel, and the effectiveness of firefighters can vary.
As you can see in the image above, at Atlanta the most common wind directions during November of 2012 were from the northwest and east, but other directions are also represented.
For the latest articles at Wildfire Today about how smoke from the wildfires is affecting various locations in the South, check out the articles tagged “smoke”.