High concentrations of dust are expected to persist for the next 24 hours in Williams Lake.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with Interior Health issued a dust advisory Thursday afternoon for the Williams Lake area.

“At this time of year when the roads dry out the materials that have been put down over winter for traction and safety dries out, and then when vehicles drive over it and past it the dust is entrained up into the air,” said air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams.

“This is fairly normal for this time of year, and it’s due to the fact that the weather we’ve been having for the last days has resulted in essentially the roads are dry even though there’s snow over the shoulders and in much of the other areas.”

“This situation currently exists pretty well throughout the north from Smithers all the way down to Williams Lake. Vernon is also under a dust advisory.”

A dust advisory is also in effect for Quesnel as well as an air quality advisory due to fine particulate matter.

“It’s unlikely that will improve much tomorrow,” Adams said.

“However there is a change in the weather forecast for Saturday which brings precipitation. So usually what it takes for these dust levels to drop is either for the material to have picked up off the road or that something happens to the weather to either carry the dust away from the community or precipitation which causes it not to get dusted up by passing cars.”

Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at www.bcairquality.ca.