Air quality tracker: How bad is the smoky air in your area and what's the smoke forecast?

You can track the current air quality levels and alerts here, as well as get a forecast of where the smoke is expected to head over the next 24 hours.

Air quality remained unhealthy across the inland Northeast, mid-Atlantic and parts of the Great Lakes Friday morning as the latest batch of smoke from Canadian wildfires continued to pour across the border.

Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee all had AQI readings over 150 early Friday morning, with readings around or just under 150 in the New York City area.

Meanwhile, air quality significantly improved across much of Illinois south of Chicago, Indiana, western Ohio and Kentucky after Thursday’s ferocious winds associated with a derecho cleaned out the atmosphere.


You can track the current air quality levels and alerts here, as well as get a forecast of where the smoke is expected to head over the next 24 hours.

What are the current air quality levels?

The AQI ranges from 0 to 500 and has six color-coded categories corresponding to a different level of health concern. Lower numbers equate to better air quality, and higher numbers equate to poorer air quality. 

Anything red or worse on the map below denotes at least unhealthy air quality, with purples denoting very unhealthy conditions and maroon indicating hazardous air quality that should relegate everyone to stay indoors as much as possible.


This graphic shows the current air quality levels.
(FOX Weather)


Who has the top 5 worst air quality readings?

This graphic shows the top five worst cities for current air quality levels.
(FOX Weather)


Where are the current air quality alerts?

Find specific information on the alerts through the National Weather Service's current warnings and advisory page.

A graphic showing current air quality alerts.
(FOX Weather)


What is the smoke forecast?

Here are the latest computer projections of where the smoke is expected. The forecasts are updated each hour, and we have provided the current smoke coverage and forecast maps for 6, 12 and 24 hours into the future.

Current smoke map:

Current smoke coverage.
(FOX Weather)


6-hour smoke forecast:

The 6-hour smoke forecast.
(FOX Weather)


12-hour smoke forecast:

The 12-hour smoke forecast.
(FOX Weather)


24-hour smoke forecast:

The 24-hour smoke forecast.
(FOX Weather)


What does the air quality index mean?

A regular assessment of air quality in the U.S. started in 1976, about six years after the Environmental Protection Agency was created.

According to, the law requires any metropolitan area with a population of more than 350,000 to report air quality daily.

The air quality index as we know it today was released in 1999, according to It has gone through several updates over the years, but the goal has always been the same – to offer people an easy-to-understand daily report about the air they’re breathing and indicate what air quality is dangerous.