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… AIR QUALITY ALARM NOW UNTIL TUESDAY 3 PM CDT … for fine dust pollution. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to be purple or very unhealthy. This will be a long-running and unprecedented major air quality event for Minnesota. * WHERE … central and southern central Minnesota. * WHEN … by Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. CDT. * IMPACT … The risk of adverse health effects is increased for everyone. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS … Smoke from Canadian forest fires lingers over most of Minnesota. There will be a slight improvement in air quality on Friday and Friday night. However, on Saturday, northerly winds behind a cold front will bring more smoke from forest fires north of the Canadian border in Ontario and Manitoba to Minnesota. This intensifying amount of heavy smoke is expected to arrive from Saturday morning. Smoke will continue to pour into the state throughout Saturday and Sunday. High pressure will build up over the area for Sunday and will remain over the area Monday through Tuesday morning. Smoke will recirculate under the high pressure, which leads to prolonged, heavy smoke development. Fine particulate matter levels are set to improve on Tuesday as southerly winds begin to clear the smoke from the state. Particulate matter levels are expected to reach the Purple AQI category, a level considered very unhealthy for anyone in north and south central Minnesota. This area includes St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, and the tribal nation of Mille Lacs. Particulate matter levels are expected to hit the red AQI category, a level considered unhealthy for anyone in northern and central Minnesota. This area includes Alexandria, Mankato, Albert Lea, and the tribal nations of the Upper Sioux and Prairie Island. PRECAUTIONS / PREPARATION MEASURES … Sensitive groups such as people with lung diseases (including asthma), heart disease, and children and older adults should avoid all outdoor physical activity. The general public should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. For information on the current air quality conditions in your area, as well as to register for daily air quality forecasts and alerts via email, SMS, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app, please visit us / air / current-air-quality. For more information on health and air quality, please visit