Smell of smoke follows thunderstorms in Twin Cities Thursday

Twitter users noticed the smoky smell as soon as the rain cleared out.

Twin Cities Twitter users noticed something peculiar after Thursday's thunderstorms.

"Did the storm roll in with smoke? It smells like the fires are nearby," asked @raustin1.

"Is it me or does it appear the smokes arrived from up north cause it smells like a legit camp fire," tweeted BenOsowski1.

It turns out, the smoke was here all along. It was just higher in the air.

Related: 70 mph gusts behind storms in western MN; latest severe, heavy rain forecast

The National Weather Service Twin Cities, responding to multiple curious smoke-smellers, said wildfire smoke had been in the mid- to upper-levels of the atmosphere the entire time. 

"The storms and rain brought it to the surface," the weather service's account explained.

The air quality in the Twin Cities was less than ideal Thursday afternoon, with particle levels either "moderate" or "unhealthy for sensitive groups," according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

The map on the right has more detail.

There were enough queries about the odor that Hennepin County Emergency Management felt the need to weigh in, reiterating the weather service's explanation.

As did the Brooklyn Park Fire Department, which had to warn people: "There are currently no wildfires in our area."

As the county's emergency management account points out, the wind should help the smoke clear out

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