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Code Orange air quality alert issued for Pittsburgh and Pa. as smoke from Canadian wildfires returns

 A tall building with hazy air surrounding.
Shreya Singh
90.5 WESA
The Cathedral of Learning in Oakland seen through the hazy air on Monday, July 17, 2023.

The smoke from Canadian wildfires is back — the entire state of Pennsylvania is under a "Code Orange" air quality warning today.

People with heart or lung disease, plus the young and the elderly, should limit outdoor activities.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rich Redmond says the smoke should begin clearing out later today.

"Most of the heavier smoke will be pretty high up.  We are getting some reaching the surface, but not nearly as bad as what we had a couple weeks ago.  Looks like we should see some improvement by this afternoon."

Redmond says more stormy weather will hit the area just as the smoke starts to dissipate in late afternoon: "There's potential for damaging winds and large hail.  We don't see the atmosphere setting up for a tornado."

Showers are likely tonight and Tuesday.

Doug Shugarts is a 23-year veteran of broadcast news. Doug began his career at WBUR in Boston, where he worked on the nationally-syndicated programs “The Connection” and “Here and Now.” He won awards for best use of sound, coverage of the 2003 war in Iraq, and helped launch the station’s local news program, “Radio Boston.” In 2014 Doug moved across town to GBH and helped reboot morning news programming and launch other broadcast and web projects. Doug studied Composition at Berklee College of Music and Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of California. A resident of Pittsburgh’s Southside, Doug enjoys feasting on arepas and yucca fries at Cilantro and Ajo and meeting his canine neighbors at Big Dog Coffee.