VANCOUVER -- While parts of B.C. have been under smoky skies for more than a week, Environment Canada says improvements are coming, but the air quality advisory remains.

Environment Canada first issued air quality advisories for much of the southern part of the province on Sept. 8, as smoke from wildfires in Washington and Oregon states blew north.

Early Friday morning, the weather authority said it was renewing the fine particulate matter advisory again, with "widespread smoke" in the day's forecast. Air quality advisories are in place for 41 B.C. regions, covering about two thirds of the province. 

"Ground-level smoke remains and is expected to remain in the region through today. A weather system forecast later today is expected to bring improvements tonight into Saturday," the special statement says.

"Localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes."

According to IQAir, a global air quality index, Vancouver had the worst air quality in the world of all major cities Friday morning.

In New Westminster, because of the timber fire at the waterfront pier that's been burning since last Sunday, a special statement remains in place that encourages locals to limit outdoor activities. 

Rain on the way

Over the weekend, Metro Vancouver is forecast to see some rain, with a possibility of thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening. Environment Canada say there's a 60 per cent chance of showers, and temperatures could reach 19 C, but may dip as low as 14 C. 

By Saturday, the smoke is expected to be localized, but there's still a chance of showers. The day is forecast to be a little cooler, with highs no more than 17 C.

On Sunday and heading into next week, sun is expected to return with highs of 19 C to end the weekend.