Monday, July 24, 2017

Expect smoke in eastern Washington, western WA just about escapes a dose

Smoke in the Methow valley and lower Yakima county is in the process of dissipating over the next few hours as north winds pick up speed. Air quality should be mostly Good around the state through the day, but splotches of Moderate and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups will return tonight, mostly around Mazama, Winthrop, White Swan, Toppenish, Sunnyside, Hunters and Davenport.

While strong winds blow away the smoke, they have their own agenda:

Some forecast models suggest Canadian wildfire smoke will get caught up in the northerly winds tonight. Winds are expected to shift to the east briefly, bringing this smoke perilously close to the Cascade crest. But this flow pattern is unlikely to persist for long enough to push smoke into western WA. Neither are they likely to blow smoke from fires in western Montana, all the way to far eastern Washington.

Tuesday should see a lighter winds so smoke impacts will be mostly near the fires. Expect Good air statewide with a few areas of Moderate overnight into Wednesday.

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