Friday, September 4, 2015

Wildfire smoke forecast through Labor Day weekend

This week's dramatic improvement in eastern Washington's air quality will be partly sustained through the Labor Day weekend. "Partly" because it wont be as great as what we saw Monday through Thursday, but it wont be anywhere as bad as it was a week ago. Here's why:

Notice the huge improvement that occurred on Sunday 30 August, but also observe how some areas have started creeping up in the last day or so. These monitors are all located very close to the fires, and in spite of lower fire activity and an active weather pattern, the communities of Orient, Nespelem, Republic, Kettle Falls and Colville aren't seeing Good air at present. Air quality in these communities is not expected to be very different between now and Monday.

We might see some smoke from ID fires along the ID-WA border today but it shouldn’t linger beyond Saturday morning. However the Lewis- Clark valley might not clear out easily on Saturday so Moderate to USG conditions are possible there. Yakima, Klickitat and Benton Counties are likely to see Good air.

Sunday & Monday are likely to see mostly Good air except very close to the fires, though some Moderate to USG areas at night - particular on Monday night- are likely.

A ridge of high pressure is expected to build from Tuesday- Thursday next week, bringing sunshine, warmer temperatures and light winds. Unfortunately this does not bode well for air quality.

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