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).





Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday was the cleanest we've been all month!

Welcome relief from smoke over the weekend! Air quality monitors on Sunday showed the cleanest air we've had all month. Not squeaky clean but a far cry from the gunk we've been inhaling, with most of the state's fine particle monitors registering Good air.


With a mild ridge building today and tomorrow, winds will be light and smoke has already started accumulating in Central Cascades valleys. The previous post below covers these communities. An air quality alert is in effect for Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Yakima and Klickitat counties through 10AM Wednesday.

Fortunately the east winds we feared don't seem to be a major concern anymore, meaning:

  • Montana smoke is unlikely to hit far eastern WA. Spokane area should hover between Good and Moderate through Tuesday, while the southeastern and northeastern counties should see mostly Good air.
  • Smoke from the Cascades is unlikely to make its way to western WA → expect Good air
  • A little smoke from the Eagle Creek fire could still make its way toward Cascade Locks and Camas, leading to Moderate/ Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air. Areas closer to fires might see poorer air. 

Even though the major wildfires continue to burn- albeit with less intensity- decent winds and good mixing on Wednesday will help nudge us toward an all- green (meaning Good air) state.

11 comments:

  1. Any predictions for Thursday and into the weekend?

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    1. Casey- which areas? Expecting mostly Good air as active weather systems pass by, but that doesnt apply everywhere

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    2. How about the Mt. Rainier NP area for Thursday and through the weekend--any hope for decent air quality there (or weather in general for that matter, which I know you may not want to answer since this is a site devoted to air quality vs. weather patterns)? I'm still trying to replan a Wonderland thru hike since I canceled the plan I had to start this past weekend, since things were still so tenuous.

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    3. Nancy: uncertainties do exist in the long range forecast and there is still a possibility that smoke from the nearby Norse Peak fire will impact Mt. Rainier NP. But not as bad as earlier, since the weather is more active now. You might want to check if sections of the trail are closed due to active fires.

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    4. Thank you so much again! The eastern side of the park still has closures in effect, but one of the rangers said they were hopeful they'd open the trails back up today, at least. For now, I think I'll hold off on making any reservations until I see how the next couple of days shake out with all this. Thanks again!

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  2. Around Moses Lake to Spokane. We were half way through a bike tour from Seattle to Spokane and had to turn back due to air quality last week. We're looking at when we can finish the last half.

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    1. To the extent that you can believe the extended forecasts and assuming there are no new fires between now & then, you can expect a little smoke in that area though nowhere as bad as last week. In general, Good later in the day, poorer air in the morning, evening and night.

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  3. Any predictions for the areas South of the Jolly Mountain fire for Friday and Saturday? I have my wedding Saturday and I am trying to decide on cancelling it due to air quality.

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    1. I sincerely hope that you dont have to cancel the wedding! Relocating it based on air quality concerns might be in order, so lets take a look. I presume you're in the Cle Elum/ Roslyn area and are planning an outdoor ceremony. Long range forecasts should be taken with a healthy dose of uncertainty... It seems like there might be enough wind to keep you upwind of the Jolly Mountain fire. It is unlikely the area will return to the baaad air quality conditions we had last week. Have you considered moving the wedding indoors as a precaution?
      Wishing you many years of wedded bliss.

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  4. I am traveling to Tacoma September 14-18 from Dallas/ Fort worth area. What kind of air can I expect. Always love trips to Tacoma and Seattle because of the cool clean air but fear I may have picked a bad time to visit

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    1. Nope you picked a fine time to visit Tacoma and Seattle. Mostly clean air with a healthy dose of sunshine through Saturday on the horizon. And we'll likely be ending our extraordinarily dry streak with some rain on Sunday and Monday, making it a genuine Pacific NW experience for you.

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