The air across Minnesota was expected to be much less hazy Tuesday after a Labor Day in which much of the state seemed to be right next to a campfire.
Wildfire smoke from southwest Canada and the Pacific Northwest left haze and odor over much of Minnesota Monday, including the Twin Cities, and adversely affected other parts of the United States.
"The thickest smoke is presently from west-central Minnesota into the Twin Cities and southward," said an air-quality notification issued Monday afternoon by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. "The smoke is brought down to the surface by sinking air behind the cold front that passed through the area."
But as the hours passed, relief wafted in. Strong, cool winds out of the northwest were expected to push the smoke south of Minnesota late Monday and early Tuesday.
By late Monday, things were already looking better. According to the MPCA website, smoke was still lingering in southeastern Minnesota, including Rochester, and northwestern Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes. The Twin Cities were starting to clear up after a bout of rain.
The smoky skies were a Midwestern reminder of the wind-driven wildfires threatening Glacier and Yosemite national parks.
The fires disrupted holiday travel across the West during a Labor Day weekend that capped a devastating summer of wildfires.
With the smoke headed out of Minnesota, at least, what about the weather? Tuesday — back-to-school day for many kids and back-to-work day for many grown-ups — will feel appropriately fall-like in the metro area, with a high near 65 and a noticeable northwest breeze, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. Winds could gust as high as 30 miles per hour, and there's a 20 percent chance of showers.
The sun will return Wednesday, with a high of 65 again and lighter winds. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be lovely days, with highs in the low 70s and calm winds.