Smoke from wildfires blanketing much of Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. --Smoke is engulfing much of the eastern half of Nebraska, with the effects expected to potentially continue through Sunday.

The National Weather Surface has issued an advisory for nearly half of Nebraska's 93 counties, with large portions of the state receiving near-surface smoke. The most recent smoke model suggests thicker near-surface smoke entered the district around 3:00 pm CT Thursday. The smoke is anticipated to reduce visibility and will potentially be problematic to the health of some people.

By 2:00 a.m. Friday, poor visibility is anticipated throughout almost all of eastern Nebraska, particularly the northern portion. The current models predict smoke will linger through Friday afternoon with the potential for smoky skies throughout the weekend.

Wildfires in Canada and the western U.S. are to blame, causing the smoke and affected air quality. The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy staff monitor smoke levels and wind directions to assess when impacts to Nebraska's air quality may occur.

If heavy low hanging smoke is present in your area, utilize your A/C to filter the air coming into your home, and limit time spent outdoors if heavy smoke is present in your area. Sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.