Washington Smoke Map

*The map above is not able to display all state air quality monitors. Click here to see all monitors in Washington: WA Ecology Air Monitors

Note: Some users might notice intermittent discrepancies in colors shown on the map of air quality monitors above, and those reported on the Department of Ecology's official page. This is because Ecology believes their method of calculating the air quality category (i.e. “Good”, “Moderate”, Unhealthy” etc) is more protective of public health in Washington. If in doubt as to which better represents public health risk, use the more stringent of the two (i.e. the map showing worse air quality).

Saturday, July 8, 2017

BC wildfire smoke affecting northern WA

Smoke from a fire near Princeton, BC has been affecting parts of Okanogan, Ferry and Stevens counties over the last few mornings. This afternoon's satellite picture shows smoke from the (circled) fire.

The fine particle pollution monitor in Omak bears out the evidence most prominently. Notice how levels spiked over the last 3 mornings.

This happens when (1) northwest flows overnight transport smoke into the area via the Okan(a)ogan river valley, followed by (2) the inversion layer breaking up as the morning sun heats the ground, and (3) smoke aloft mixes to the surface. But daytime winds switch to the southwest and help dissipate smoke- albeit slowly. 

Expect another round of the same smoke behavior in the north central counties from Sunday to Tuesday. Periods of Moderate and USG air are likely during the overnight and morning hours. Unhealthy air in communities such as Oroville and Tonasket cannot be ruled out.

And finally, be prepared for more fire concerns on Sunday, followed by a progressively hotter work week.

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