Kansas City Experiences Worst Air Quality In The U.S.

May 15, 2024

With the way the weather pattern is, those winds are coming out of the north, so it does pull that smoke down towards us.

Kansas City meteorologist Brent Pesel referring to the wildfire smoke from Canada causing Kansas to experience poor air quality.

Why It Matters: Wildfires in Canada have caused hazy skies in parts of the U.S., particularly in the Midwest. On Tuesday, Kansas City, Kansas, ranked as the city with the worst air quality in the country; Kansas City air quality ranked close to Doha, Qatar and Medan and Jakarta, Indonesia. Other places in the U.S. that experienced poor air quality on Tuesday included Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Big Picture: Last year’s Canadian wildfires broke records as smoke stretched across North America. While this year’s wildfire season has gotten off to an early start, as of now, forecasts do not expect the smoke from current fires to spread as far east as it did last year. The smoke experienced Tuesday was is expected to slowly disperse.

Read More: This city currently has the worst air quality in America (The Washington Post)

Is that fog or smog over downtown? Here’s what’s up with Kansas City’s air quality (Kansas City Star)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas