Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24/12 Wildfire Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT

Air Quality forecast, 8AM Monday 24 September 2012
Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Air quality in Cashmere and Wenatchee remain Hazardous, while Pateros, Entiat and Ellensburg are reporting Very Unhealthy air. Trout Lake, Quincy, Leavenworth, Omak, Chelan, the Methow, Yakima and Toppenish have Unhealthy air. White Swan, Goldendale and Cle Elum are recording Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Air in the southern part of the Columbia Basin appears good at present, while most other monitors in the Basin, with a few exceptions are in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category.
The weather systems over the weekend that were supposed to alleviate some smoke in eastern WA also got up to a little mischief in the process. While they did cause some dispersion and desisted from sparking off new wildfires, they also transported some smoke from central Idaho wildfires further west which then mixed to the surface in eastern WA after the inversion broke. These impacts appear to have persisted throughout the day in a lot of eastern WA. Some smoke from WA wildfires was pushed up against the Cascades and impacted the communities at the eastern foothills once the drainage flows started and easterly winds let up.
Light winds over the Cascades today are not expected to do a whole lot to help with smoke in the hard-hit communities. That said the models are advertizing some moderate winds near the gaps along I90 and Hwy2 starting later today. If it pans out, this could lead to good dispersion in Ellensburg, Leavenworth and the Methow, but also risks limiting plume rise. Flow is most W-NW which pushes smoke into the Columbia Basin. But how far southeast into the Basin it will travel before turning NE (under a SW flow regime), is uncertain. This could lead to smoke impacts in the Spokane area too. The Yakima valley might get off lightly today, but parts of Klickitat County could see a little bit of smoke from the Mt. Adams fire.
Models are backing off on the strength of the low pressure systems that were expected to bring some cooling and spotty rainfall to the northern counties. No strong winds in the forecast through this week, though some clearing is expected east of the Cascades Tuesday afternoon.
Western WA did not see enough vertical mixing to transport this smoke to the surface. No air quality issues are expected in Western WA over the coming days.
The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington:
The Governor has issued an emergency proclamation for all of eastern Washington:

Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) Chart:

Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network Map:

  -note, click on the dots and you can then click on View more information to find out the latest hourly values even if the dot is grey




Central Region, Ecology Air Quality Report  

               Chelan County monitor locations:

Wenatchee- “Hazardous”

Leavenworth- “Unhealthy”

Chelan- “Unhealthy”

               Okanogan County monitor locations:

Omak - “Unhealthy”

Winthrop – “Unhealthy”

Twisp-  “Unhealthy”

               Kittitas County monitor location:

Ellensburg- “Very Unhealthy”

Yakima County monitor location:

Yakima- “Unhealthy”

White Swan- “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”

Toppenish- “Unhealthy”

               Klickitat County monitor location:

Goldendale- “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”


Eastern Region, Ecology Air Quality Report

Blue Mt. Area
Clarkston  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups
Dayton  -   good
Walla Walla  -  good
Palouse Area
Pullman  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups
Rosalia  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups
LaCrosse  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups

Colville  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups
Wellpinit  -  unhealthy




Chelan County monitor location:

Wenatchee- (Confluence Park)- “Unhealthy”

Cashmere- “Hazardous”

Entiat- “Unhealthy”

Okanogan County* (new)

Pateros- “Very Unhealthy”

           Grant County monitor location:

Quincy-  “Unhealthy”

          Kittitas County monitor location:

Cle Elum- “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”

Klickitat County*(new)

Trout Lake- “Unhealthy”






Eastern cont., Ecology Air Quality Report

Columbia Basin
Kennewick  -  good
Mesa  - unhealthy for sensitive groups
Moses Lake  - unhealthy for sensitive groups
Ritzville  - unhealthy for sensitive groups

Spokane Area
Spokane, - “Unhealthy for Sensitive groups”
Liberty Lake- “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups



Another very useful webpage for grab hourly and 24 hour data, Puget Sound Clean Air and their air quality tool:

Remember the Eastern Washington Burn Ban remains effective through Monday, September, 24, 2012.

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