Unhealthy air quality continues in the Valley as smoke expands to other states

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Unfortunately, we started this week right where we left off last week. Because of these smoky, hazy skies, the Valley's air quality remains unhealthy.

It looks like fog in some areas and the smoke creates similar visibility issues, which must constantly be tracked.

The National Weather Service in Hanford uses an Experimental High-Resolution Refresh to predict the spread of smoke from wildfires around the state.

"What we do is we model the smoke from where it is originating and see how it is going to evolve within the next 12 hours to the next 24 hours," says NWS Meteorologist Carlos Molina.

All that smog is trapped under an inversion layer.

A layer of warm air basically serves as a lid over the Valley and traps the pollutants to help create the hazy skies.

"There's really not a lot of movement with the air, so the air remains stagnant and just basically, gravity will take it down to the lower part of the Valley," Molina said.

The ash lands on any vehicles and structures outside.

Molina was tracking a weak disturbance in the Pacific Ocean that could impact the amount of smoke hovering over the Valley.

"We are looking at a little bit of clearing hopefully later this week so right now, the disturbance is kind of expected to come in and maybe around Wednesday or Thursday, and once it starts doing that, we'll see," he said. I don't want to say a dramatic clearing."

But he does expect less concentration of smoke in the air.

Molina says so much smoke is being produced in California, it is now making its way to states like Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.
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