A wildfire sparked by lightning over the Pagami Creek area in the arrowhead of Minnesota is creating a plume of smoke that has now reached as far south as east-central Illinois. The smoke can be seen on the satellite imagery below as a thin ribbon stretching across Lake Superior, then southeastward through Wisconsin into northeast Illinois. The red marks indicate “hot spots” as detected by shortwave infrared satellite imagery.
Image provided by the NASA LANCE (Land Atmosphere Near Real-Time Capability for EOS)
Visibilities have been reduced from the Chicago area through east-central Illinois as the smoke continues to get pushed southeastward behind a departing cold front. Several people in the Champaign-Urbana area have even reported smelling smoke in the air. 12 PM Air Quality Index (AQI) values have reached the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) category across much of east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana as indicated by the map below. For more information about air quality, please visit National Weather Service Lincoln's air quality page at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/?n=airquality
Air quality is expected to improve by late this afternoon and evening as an area of showers moves across Illinois and the smoke particulates begin to get dispersed.
Image provided by www.airnow.gov