Weather for Fort McMurray
Weather has a direct impact on air pollution transportation and dispersion. That is why WBEA measures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and other meteorological parameters at all air quality monitoring sites. WBEA also measures wind speed and direction far out into the regional boreal forest at six 30 meter tower sites in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).
There are several potential sources of air pollutants from oil sands operations including SAGD operations, surface mining, fuel combustion, flaring, industrial processes, venting, on-site transportation, dusts from tailing piles, and others. Emissions of vapours can also originate from tailing ponds, out-gassing from bitumen at mine faces and as fugitive emissions wherever hydrocarbons are handled.
As an air pollutant is transported from its original source to a community, it is dispersed and mixes with the surrounding air so that it generally arrives at a much lower concentration than it was on leaving the source. The concentration of an air pollutant at a given place depends on a number of variables, including the amount of the pollutant released at the source (the upwind emission rate), the height of the source, the distance from the community to the source, topography and local weather conditions.
The most important weather influences are wind speed, wind direction, precipitation (both rain and snow), sunlight and the amount of turbulence in the atmosphere.
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Wildfire smoke forecast for Western Canada produced by the Western Canada BlueSky Smoke Forecasting System operating at the University of British Columbia.