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Smoke from Canadian wildfires will be in the atmosphere for foreseeable future

Rowers workout under hazy skies on the Charles River, viewed from Cambridge on June 7.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

A persistent stalled upper level storm system over northern New England continues to capture smoke from forest fires in Canada and propel it south and westward into the northeastern US.

As we begin the second week of June, things are going to continue on a similar note to the first. Expect cool air, clouds, and more smoke. So far, the month has been 3 degrees cooler than average and slightly drier than one would expect for the first week — but not dramatically so.

Temperatures have fallen below 60 each day so far this month. Heat and humidity have been kept at bay.


An upper-level low is keeping cooler and cloudier than average weather across the Northeast the past week.COD Weather

Undoubtedly, many of you have seen pictures from New York, where the air quality is as bad as it was in the 1960s. Back when gasoline was leaded and before laws were passed to clean up infrastructure, poor air quality days were much more routine.

The worst air quality remains west of Worcester early Thursday morning.NOAA

Nearly 10 million acres have burned in fires across parts of Canada. Here, the smoke is going to continue to be in the atmosphere for the foreseeable future. Anytime the upper level winds are conducive, it will end up in New England.

If we started to see more heat and humidity, the winds would flip around to the south, and the smoke would not be evident — but then we’d have to contend with heat and humidity.

Although not common, the smoke isn’t new.

On May 19, 1780, smoke from forest fires ended up moving south from Vermont and across Cape Cod. At that time, obviously, there were no satellites and nothing like social media. Many people thought that doomsday was at hand with the eerie glow in the atmosphere.

Now, in addition to the smoke and haze, we have a lot of clouds. These clouds are going to be a dominant feature Thursday and Friday — and even into Saturday.


Scattered showers rotating around an upper level low pressure area could briefly turn things wet Thursday and Friday.Tropical Tidbits

There is the chance for a couple of showers or even the rumble of thunder in the afternoon. The highest risk looks to be Friday, with less of a risk on Saturday. That said, most of the days will be dry.

Sunday is going to be the best day of the weekend and feel like summer, with readings well into the 70s and abundance sunshine.

The unsettled pattern could return by Tuesday.