Friday, August 26, 2016

Smoke in the South Sound today, expect smoke in the Seattle area on Saturday

Folks in Thurston county and to a lesser extent Lewis and Pierce counties woke up to smoke hanging in the air. This is due to a fire burning on JBLM. Air quality in Lacey reached Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups while other monitors recorded Moderate air.

This situation will abate in the next few hours, when the ground warms up (a heat advisory is in effect today) and mixes smoke through a deeper layer.

Offshore winds are weakening and will switch to westerly this evening. While this will ensure no more smoke from JBLM fires reaches Thurston and Lewis Counties, it also drags in some smoke from the Olympic National Park fires into the South Sound overnight. Moderate air quality is expected.

Some JBLM smoke might make its way to the Tacoma/ Puyallup area tonight and on Saturday. If the fire is still going strong, there could be times when air will be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

On Saturday the winds will be from the southwest, returning Thurston and Lewis county air quality to Good. But this will also place  areas immediately north of Seattle downwind of the Olympic NP fires. Patchy smoke can be expected during the day on Saturday, leading to Moderate air quality on occasion, like this:

Stronger winds on Saturday night and Sunday will help return AQ to mostly Good across western Washington.

Will make a separate post about smoke in eastern Washington

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