Saturday, September 2, 2017

Kittias and Yakima county getting hammered with smoke; little improvement expected before Monday

Unfortunately several cities in Yakima and Kittitas counties got slammed with a lot more smoke than expected today. Conditions in Cle Elum and Toppenish were Very Unhealthy this morning, leading to the cancellation of some sporting events.

A colleague sent in this picture of haze-laden skies in Yakima.

Sections of plumes from the Norse Peak appear to have combined with the Jolly Mountain fire plumes and smoked out the Kittitas and Yakima valleys, as seen in this satellite loop. Not much wind in the forecast today & tomorrow to disperse the smoke, so brace for more of the same, namely mostly Unhealthy air throughout most of Kittitas and Yakima counties through Sunday night. Periods of Very Unhealthy or even Hazardous conditions cannot be ruled out. Things should start to improve by Monday morning as northeast winds pick up a little.

Also notice this morning's MODIS satellite image showing Oregon plumes making a two-pronged approach toward southwest and southeast WA, the former using the Pacific route. 

Smoke in the southeastern WA plume could hit the Lewis- Clark valley, Walla Walla and the Tri Cities later today, leading to air that is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups between now and Sunday evening.

While the Pacific smoke patch isnt much of threat right now, it is a little harder to predict- will have to wait for the smoke models to run on Sunday morning before we know.

Rest of the forecast issued yesterday is mostly on track.

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