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).
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Wildfire smoke forecast for eastern Washington through Friday 28 August
Monitors in and around the Columbia Basin did not clear out as well as expected over the last 36 hours. Currently the Lewis-Clark Valley, Walla Walla, Toppenish and Goldendale are showing USG air while other area monitors show mostly Moderate air.
A little clearing expected this afternoon but not much. Smoke is expected to settle in valleys overnight and will be hard to dislodge until decent winds kick up on Thursday afternoon. Expect the pattern to repeat on Thursday night into Friday morning.
While no large scale smoke intrusions from northern fires are expected in the Columbia Basin, smoke from the Cougar Creek and Grizzly Bear complex fires is likely to impact Yakima and Whitman county, as well the Lewis- Clark valley during this time. Expect air quality in these areas to be Unhealthy overnight and Moderate to USG at other times. Goldendale is likely to be USG on both nights but Good to Moderate at other times.
Into Friday, there is a decent chance that all these communities will see Good air quality as significant changes occur in the weather. That will be discussed in another forecast on Friday.