Most people in the Edmonton area woke up to slightly better air quality conditions on Friday morning than when they went to sleep.

On Thursday night, the AQHI peaked at 72 around 8 p.m. in Edmonton, on a scale of one to 10.

The Alberta Air Quality Health Index measured the air in Edmonton at a 3 on Friday morning, forecasting a 4 or moderate for the rest of the day and into Saturday as smoke from northern wildfires continues to linger in the area.

A special air quality statement is still in in effect for the region and anyone with breathing problems is still encouraged to take precautions.

An air quality advisory was also issued for Red Deer on Friday afternoon.

CTV Edmonton Meteorologist Josh Classen:

It’s still hazy in Edmonton. But, not even CLOSE to as bad as late Thursday.

The Air Quality Health Index is normally measured on a 1-10 scale with readings over 10 occurring so infrequently that most websites will just report “10+” .

Anything 10 or higher is considered a “Very High Risk”.

Alberta Air Quality keeps track of exactly how high those readings beyond 10 get.

In Edmonton, the AQHI was above 30 from 5pm to 11pm.

It peaked at 72 at 8pm. 

At levels that high, it’s recommended EVERYONE limits their exposure (not just people with respiratory issues).

Wind shifted overnight and the AQHI dropped to a “LOW Risk” 3.

AQHI through the morning and early afternoon has held steady in the 3 range.

However, we’re expecting smokier conditions to return this evening with a potential for the AQHI to reach the 6-8 ( range late this afternoon and/or overnight. That puts us into the Moderate to High Risk category and people with respiratory issues should try to stay inside.

The smoke is anticipated clear to out of the Edmonton region through Saturday morning and skies will be much clearer Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Looking ahead – strong northerly wind Sunday/Monday has the potential to blow some more smoke back into the region by early next week.