Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:56 on 2023-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The city shut down its outdoor sports facilities and two triathlons were cancelled, one in Montreal and one in Tremblant. As already noted, we’re the city with the worst air quality in the world this Sunday.

    The fires are undoing years of efforts in restocking Quebec’s forests.

    • shawn 18:10 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      Although when I go to this air quality site that I prefer it seems Ottawa was even worse, this aft.

    • Kate 18:49 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      I have friends living outside Gatineau and they would agree.

    • shawn 19:09 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      Funny how Montreal got all the press today, even though Ottawa’s a G7 capital.
      BTW if the smoke tracking map is right, Chicago looks to be very bad by Tuesday.

    • Mozai 02:15 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      It’s hard finding decent Air Quality measurements. Environment Canada posts forecasts for Montreal but the “observed” is always “n/a”. (Qu-est que c’est le “n/a” en français? s/a ? a/p ? f/r ?) According to aqicn.org, Montreal max was 240 (high is bad), Ottawa was 358, Gatineau 142, Québec city 142, Cornwall (Ont) 234, Burlington (Vermont) 224, and Sult Ste-Marie 334 (!!!). When I was out tonight I could see the beams from car headlamps as if it was a foggy day even though the air looked clear.

    • carswell 07:57 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      @Mozai s/o for sans objet.

    • shawn 08:19 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      We’ve talked about this before here but it’s disappointing to see the failure of the Environment Canada website to provide realtime air quality data at a critical time. There’s lots of other options out there of course but in my mind EC was always the definitive source.

      There are air quality stations across the province and I ASSUME it’s EC operating them, even if they can’t display the data on their website?

    • shawn 08:30 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      BTW someone else may have already shared this, but this map shows results at individual air quality stations across the city. You can just move the map around with the cursor to show your neighbourhood. I have no idea who’s paying for this and the site doesn’t seem to have ads but it’s a great example of what can be done. I presently live in Mile End so that is the focus here:

      I just found it near the top of the results via Google. There’s been a lot of criticism of Google recently for the “enshittification” (coined by Cory Doctorow) of its search function but no complaints here.

    • shawn 08:36 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      I notice in the link that the two air quality monitoring stations displayed – including the one on Esplanade below Saint-Viateur – are both maintained by an “anonymous contributor.” Or maybe it’s two different people.

    • MarcG 08:44 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      Purple Air and IQAir seem to be consumer products that let you monitor air quality and share it. If you scroll down to the bottom of the general Montreal page on that site you can see all of the data sources.

    • Shawn Goldwater 09:29 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      Ok. But the detailed data also includes forecasts that have to pulling and modelling data from other sources?

      This reminds me a bit of the covid pandemic where suddenly it seemed like there were all these new resources online…

    • Shawn Goldwater 09:35 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      I don’t want to go on too long but this also reminds me of how EC animated weather maps only offer a glimpse of recent events – while that’s still very useful I have been going for some time to Meteomedia who offer a forecast map for projected weather, too.

      I wonder how much of this is due to EC receiving a barebones parliamentary allocation.

    • Kevin 11:53 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      What you are looking for is the Réseau de surveillance de la qualité de l’air and there are multiple groups doing it.

      Here is city of Montreal data https://donnees.montreal.ca/dataset/?q=rsqa

      Here is Quebec data ( which draws from city data too, I think) https://www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/air/reseau-surveillance/Carte.asp

    • shawn 13:07 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      Thanks. Although looking at the second link, I don’t see the same monitoring stations? Like the one on Esplanade just below Saint-Viateur, which appears in the IQAir map, doesn’t seem to be there?

    • nau 15:53 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      IQAir manufactures and sells air purifiers, etc. It provides the air quality website as a marketing tool, I would imagine. It takes data from government sources like those Kevin links to but also allows individuals who have their own sensor to provide them with data. The Esplanade station is anonymous but titled PurpleAir. PurpleAir manufactures air quality sensors, so this is likely somebody who has obtained a PurpleAir sensor.
      PurpleAir has its own air quality map cum marketing tooI, so probably IQAir is getting that reading from them. It’s an open question how accurate those sensors should be judged to be versus what the city uses.

    • shawn 18:10 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      Thanks nau. Yes, I’ve been checking back and forth and so far the ‘PurpleAir’ IDed stations seem to be in sync with what other sites are reporting.

    • CE 21:59 on 2023-06-26 Permalink

      You could all save a lot of time and effort on this by just opening a window for a second and taking a whiff.

    • Kate 20:44 on 2023-06-27 Permalink

      CE, true, but sometimes one just wants confirmation. The last two days I was like, ow, am I having eyestrain? or is it just the 200+ grit level in the air?!

  • Kate 09:11 on 2023-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA says dramatically that Montreal is the most polluted city in the world on Sunday morning, although the site they mention is actually a marketer of air purifiers so grain of salt there.

    But I’m smelling smoke now like there’s an open fire nearby, and the air is yellow, so it may not be far off the truth. Here’s a readout.

    The Ironman triathlon scheduled at Tremblant Sunday has been cancelled because of the bad air quality.

    • erin 09:38 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      the city has its own air quality page and I think that site just scrapes the data from there

    • dhomas 10:10 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      It’s funny how TVA reports on it as if this is a permanent condition. The CTV version of the story adds “today” at the end of their headline:

    • Kate 10:11 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      This may be the page erin had in mind. You have to click on each of the red dots for a readout.

      “Mauvais” is more than 50. The readouts today are e.g. 282, 271, 335.

      …When I went to update that page it said I have no access. So maybe not

    • qatzelok 11:15 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      It’s amazing how few comments thare are in all the local newspapers of the cities that have toxic air today (Sudbury, North Bay, Montreal, etc.) The Gazette comments section… is full of the same low-IQ trolling it always is even though the stakes are very high for its senior citizen readership.

      Why do people have so little to say about poison air? Has their fear silenced them?

    • MarcG 11:35 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      If you scroll down on the IQAir page it shows where the data comes from in the “Montreal air quality data attribution” section. The numbers pretty much match those from the Weather Network, Accuweather, etc. Makes me sad to kids outside playing in this, people jogging, totally uninformed of the consequences.

    • su 11:42 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      407 now

    • su 11:47 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

    • MarcG 12:07 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      “Ottawa, Ontario and surrounding area has again been engulfed in high levels of PM2.5 pollution from wildfire smoke equivalent to smoking 1 cigarette every 2 hours.” https://twitter.com/jeffgilchrist/status/1672979109931098112

    • Tim F 12:39 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      I’m trying to find pictures of the fire smog from June 2005, I recall Montreal looking orange hazy like New York City did earlier this month. Either my Googling skills have declined or they’re lost to the sands of time.
      Anyone else remember this or is my memory betraying me?

    • Kate 12:44 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      I remember telling American friends online that the sun looked like a copper penny, but I don’t remember the year. But you don’t misremember: this has happened before.

    • Kevin 12:46 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      Commenting on Postmedia pages is one of many things on their sites that is broken. It’s part of the same system that keeps forcing some people with subscriptions to log in for every article… and nobody left knows how to or cares enough to fix it.

    • Tim F 13:16 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      @Kate That’s exactly right. I think based on this page it was June 8 to 13, 2005. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/info-smog/major-quebec-episodes.html

    • Ian 13:18 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      @Tim F last time I saw a red daytime sun in Montreal was 2002, although we have had lots of years with intense sunrises and sunsets. I remember it being 2002 specifically because I saw it looking off my back balcony on Coursol facing the VME and I only lived there 2002-2003.

      I found this for historical data but I’m having a hard time specifically finding data just for Quebec, I figured sopfeu would be the best source but the site seems to only be about current status. I also thought to check Flickr and sort by date but the oldest Montreal groups are 2004 AFAIK.

    • Kevin 13:35 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      2010 was the last time I woke up smelling smoke from forest fires in northern Quebec.

    • Shawn Goldwater 13:36 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      Cooler today than forecast, I suppose in part because of the blocked sun.

    • EmilyG 14:19 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      In previous years, there might be one day of the year when the air was smoky enough that the sun was a different colour. But this year there’s been multiple days.

    • shawn 14:26 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

    • Kate 15:35 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

      Good link, shawn. Thanks.

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