OAKLAND, Calif. - The air quality in the Bay Area was still pretty bad on Tuesday, marking a record-setting 29th consecutive day of Spare the Air, because of the wildfire smoke hovering over much of California, Oregon, Portland and other parts of the West Coast.
"I don't even go outside anymore because I can't even breathe," said Joanne Justice, who lives in the South Bay.
However, after nearly one month of smoke-choked skies and unhealthy breathing, the National Weather Service offered a bit of good news: Government radar is showing lower smoke concentrations for portions of the Bay Area on Tuesday morning relative to the last few days. And these improving conditions should continue through Friday.
KTVU meteorologist Steve Paulson noted that some Bay Area cities, including Napa and Concord, were only in the "moderate" air quality zones, as opposed to the last several days of "unhealthy" and "very unhealthy."
Still, the air quality was far from good, prompting San Jose State, among other places, to keep the campus closed. And meteorologists note that air quality is hard to predict.
"We think there's a little bit of a weather system coming in over the ocean to bring flow from the west that might clear things out," said Aaron Richardson of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "The X-factor is the fact that there is so much smoke over in the ocean that we may just be trading smoke for smoke."
The Spare the Air alert continues through Wednesday, which would make it 30 consecutive days of unhealthy air; something that's never happened in the Bay Area before.