Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Smoke forecast through Friday 14 August

Air quality in eastern Washington turned out a little worse than expected overnight Tuesday. East winds pushed smoke from the Wolverine fire across the Cascades into Darrington, resulting in unhealthy air for a few hours. Smoke from Idaho fires also wafted through the Lewis- Clark valley and the Spokane area, degrading air quality.

Chelan, Leavenworth, Wenatchee and the Methow Valley are currently seeing air quality ranging from Moderate to Unhealthy. Smoke is also making its way into the Kittitas valley and Columbia Basin, with several areas on the cusp of Moderate air quality. This picture is not expected to change significantly through Thursday night. In general, some relief during the afternoon followed by poor air quality at night. We should see a little more relief from smoke on Friday.

Some thunderstorms have already rolled through eastern Washington today, making for complex local wind patterns and firefighting conditions. Plenty of lightning and some downpours. Expecting the same on Thursday afternoon and evening. On Friday winds are likely to ramp up and help blow away some of the accumulated smoke but they are also likely to fan the flames of new and existing fires. A red flag warning remains in place until 8PM Thursday.

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