"The smoke from that fire hitched a ride on those northwest winds and drove that train all the way down to Michigan," said Jim Haywood, senior meteorologist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
said the department received several calls from concerned residents Tuesday asking if it was going to issue an air advisory; however, since the particulate matter coming from Minnesota was fairly large, he
said there wasn't too much cause for concern.
"The particulate we tend to get concerned about are the ones that are really, really small and can get past your nose hairs and imbed in your lungs."
The last time West Michigan saw such strange weather patterns, Haywood
recalled, was about seven years ago when a dust storm in West Texas collided with a thunderstorm over Grand Rapids, and it rained mud.
The lakeshore also saw high numbers of particulates in the air when it was picked up from smoke from a 2007 fire in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.
"The numbers today aren't like anything they were yesterday," Haywood
said of Tuesday's
air quality forecast which was at moderate Tuesday and Wednesday.