Thunderstorm watch in Bulkley Valley

Severe thunderstorms may develop this afternoon.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District.

It said conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms beginning early this afternoon. These storms may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.

The federal agency warns lightning kills and injures Canadians every year, so “if lightning roars, go indoors!”

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

To report severe weather, you can send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Air quality statement

Some rain may help with a special air quality statement still in effect as of Wednesday morning.

Wildfire smoke from as close as the Lakes District and as far as Europe and Siberia is still producing a haze over the valley.

During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

Environment Canada says wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

For more information on current air quality, see bcairquality.ca.

Visit airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

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