Friday, August 25, 2017

We'll get a dose of our own smoke this weekend. Ozone is a concern too

No blaming Oregon or British Columbia this time. High pressure that is starting to build will shunt Oregon smoke to our south this weekend. And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of smoke to our north in BC, to affect us like it did earlier. So the smoke Washingtonians will be breathing this weekend will be mostly from in-state fires.

Here are the forecast plume trajectories from Oregon, at 150ft, 1500ft and 4500ft above. All headed away from us for the next 36 hours.


And the same situation for BC smoke:

Smoke forecast for eastern Washington

The Columbia Basin and far southeast WA will continue to have air quality that is Moderate and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG). The Methow Valley will have USG air at times, as will Colville and Newport. All thanks to the smoke that is already lodged in the area (conditions are mostly Moderate and USG now) and the continued supply of new smoke from the many fires burning around eastern WA.

Smoke forecast for western Washington
By Sunday morning, the models are hinting at a very light east wind across the Cascades and this could cause some smoke from the Jolly Mountain fire to drain into the Seattle area. Not a killer smoke event but Moderate or USG conditions are possible if it pans out. Rest of western WA is expected to remain Good.

Ozone (aka ground level smog) forecast on both sides of the Cascades
The Tri Cities and eastern Cascade foothills of King and Pierce Counties could see Moderate or USG levels of ozone this weekend.

Health consequences of smoke and ozone are explained elsewhere. Please take necessary precautions depending on your health and exposure.

In summary, if you're in eastern WA, don't expect any major relief from the smoke for 3 days at least, possibly longer. If you're in the Seattle area, enjoy the Good air while you can.

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