AIR QUALITY NOW

Monitors

The map above doesn't display all air quality monitors available in the state. View Washington's air monitoring network for an interactive map of air monitors statewide. Scroll down for more info on Washington monitors and the WAQA air quality guidance.

5-3-1 Visibility Method

Don't have a monitor in your area? Use this visibility guide to help you decide how the outdoor air quality might impact your health. Learn more about the 5-3-1 visibility method.


Thank you to the New Mexico Department of Health for the use of their graphics.



Note: Some users might notice small differences in colors shown on the map on this website, and those reported on the state's air monitoring network. The map on this website uses the national air quality reporting system called the Air Quality Index (AQI) for calculating the air quality health category. However, the state uses the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) system of calculating air quality. Both use color-coded categories to show when air quality is good, moderate, or unhealthy. The difference is that the state's WAQA is based on lower levels of fine particle pollution than the federal AQI, providing an earlier alert of potential air quality risks. 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). See the WAQA color guidance, also en Español.

For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Washington’s air monitoring network follow these steps once you are on the state’s air monitoring page:

These monitors are deployed only as needed during major smoke incidents.  

Local and national air quality website by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Nationwide conditions.  If there is a big smoke incident in Washington, you may find it here.

19 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I'm a student at the University of Washington Bothell and I'm doing statistical analysis on the concentration of PM2.5 from 2001 to 2007. I saw that on November 6th, 2007, it was reported that the daily average PM2.5 was 67.2 µg/m3. The second highest recorded PM2.5 in 17 years. So my question is what could have been the cause of this? I'm trying to find data, but it's difficult to pinpoint a specific day. I was wondering if you guys had any resources or any ideas as to why this could have been?

    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. What location are you concerned about? Please respond to us directly with your questions. Contact details are at https://ecology.wa.gov/About-us/Get-to-know-us/Contact-us. Questions of this nature submitted anonymously via the wildfire smoke blog will not otherwise get a timely response.

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    2. https://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/socal_wildfires_oct07.html

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    3. Hi Anon

      Did you find out the cause of the reported 67.2 µg/m3 from November 6, 2007?

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  2. was wondering about the aberdeen hoquiam erea of the state? our 2 boys have youth football all week long and not sure if its safe for them for them to be practicing in these cknditions. I am also just getting over phemonia/bronchitus

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  3. There is an air quality monitor in Aberdeen that you can keep an eye on and then refer to this table for recommendations concerning Air Pollution and School Activities. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-332.pdf (Also available on the Smoke and Health tab above.)

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  4. I would appreciate it if a monitor could be added in the Skykomish Valley. I live in Index, and the closest air quality monitors that show up on any of these maps are in Darrington, North Bend, Lake Forest Park, Marysville, and Plain. Who decides where to put them? We should have one in either Index, Gold Bar, Sultan or Monroe. Tuesday I could barely make out the outline of Mt. Index, 3 miles away, and could smell the smoke. Today I can't see even Heybrook ridge, 1 mile away, but it looks more like clouds and fog than smoke, so I can't really tell if it's safe to open the windows and cool down the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Warren, what you're seeing now is indeed a mix of smoke & clouds with diminishing amounts of smoke. As explained in the blog post, western WA is experiencing some clearing as marine air floods in, and should enjoy Good air through Saturday at least.
      About the monitor: with finite resources already stretched thin, we have to be smart about when and where we deploy air monitors. In many instances, the nearest monitor provides a sufficiently representative reading of general conditions in the area. Exceptions are if there are large fires nearby, where one community is disproportionately affected by smoke. The Dept of Ecology and US Forest Service have already installed most of the extra monitors we have, in eastern WA communities hit hard by smoke from nearby fires.

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  5. Hi, we are supposed to be camping near Twisp beginning this weekend and the owners of the RV park say the air is fine and smoke only when the wind blows their way. Should we be concerned about the smoke and air near Twisp/Winthrop? RV park doesn't refund camping fees. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, unfortunately the Methow Valley has hardly seen air any cleaner than "Unhealthy" for the last 10 days. Take a look at the satellite picture in yesterday's blog post and also see the air quality data measured in the valley, at https://tools-c4.airfire.org/monitor-custom/v1/dailyhourlybarplot?outputfiletype=pdf&lookbackdays=10&monitors=530470010_01&monitors=530470009_01&

      There are large fires nearby and windflows are usually channeling or draining smoke into the valley very often. This is not expected to change substantially over the next week at least.

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  6. Hi! I was planning on heading to the Teannaway, right outside of Cle Elum this weekend. Is the predicted visibility and air quality worse or better than it is in Seattle right now?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tylie, Seattle is on the mend so should have good visibility & air quality by the end of the day today. I'm expecting Cle Elum will also follow suit by tomorrow and remain Good through Saturday. Might get lucky with the first half of Sunday too. But do pay attention to the new air quality monitor which was installed there (data on the clickable map above)

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  7. Is Monday and Tuesday expected to be in the orange or red in the Kent area? I have asthma and copd and am supposed to be traveling that way early next week.

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    Replies
    1. Your questions about Auburn and Kent: Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) is a distinct possibility in that area Monday & Tuesday. Please see some of the health precautions you could take, explained on this website.

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  8. What level will Auburn be next week?

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  9. How bad the situation on Hause Creek Campground (Highway 12, milepost 150)? Is it possible to camp this weekend?

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    Replies
    1. A temporary reprieve can be expected from now through Sunday morning, but that will still likely leave you with Moderate air quality due to some light smoke draining from the Miriam fire. Conditions are expected to worsen late in the weekend. Please see the health precautions you can take, explained in this blog.

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  10. Thank you for creating & maintaining this blog! It is so helpful in making decisions about outdoor activities, and in understanding the fire situation.

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