MPCA forecast: Summer air quality concerns not as significant as 2021

Tuesday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released its air quality predictions for this upcoming summer, reporting that although concerns are not as significant as they were last summer, wildfire smoke could return.

The MPCA reports ongoing drought conditions are expected to continue this summer in southern parts of Canada, which is expected to trigger above-normal fire activity. That activity could send smoke into Minnesota.

Minnesota has been experiencing wetter conditions this spring to help with the previous drought conditions in the state, potentially reducing the fire activity risk this summer, according to the MPCA.

Additionally, the MPCA reports above-normal temperatures, less rain and less cloud cover could force the air quality index into the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category for a handful of days this summer due to ozone.

View an MPCA map of the state’s air quality here.