Here are the key differences between the wildfire smoke and air quality forecast maps...

Wildfire Smoke Forecast Maps

  • Forecasts smoke, hourly, for the next 48 hours
  • Model updates every hour
  • Higher resolution/more detailed model
  • Available for the U.S. and most of Canada
Air Quality Forecast Map

  • Forecasts smoke and other particulates (dust, air pollution, etc.) for the next 5 days
  • Model updates every 6 hours
  • Lower resolution/less detailed model
  • Available worldwide
We recommend using the wildfire smoke forecast map for shorter-range projections as this model is generally more accurate and it can quickly “ingest” short-term changes in fire activity, winds, etc.

The global air quality forecast map is great for getting an idea of the smoke forecast beyond the next 2 days. It can also be useful for comparing days 3-5 vs. days 1-2 to see how things may change over the next 5 days.