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).
Friday, August 28, 2015
Wildfire smoke forecast through Monday 31 August
Some clearing occurred Thursday evening. Here is the satellite picture taken last afternoon.
Smoke returned overnight. Most areas however are showing Moderate or USG air now. Goldendale temporary monitor reporting Good air overnight. Southwest winds will slowly pick up across the Columbia Basin and air quality will improve at most sites today. Expecting mostly Good air later today, although the Lewis- Clark valley might be harder to clear out and might stay Moderate.
Winds briefly turn easterly overnight as low pressure approaches from the coast. Some models emphasize this more than others. If this does materialize, it will drag some Idahoan smoke over far eastern Washington and also result in some smoke making a run for the western foothills of the Cascades, if not into Western Washington overnight. However any smoke on the west side will be short lived, as strong southwest winds kick up on Saturday morning, bring rain to western WA and the Cascades.
Saturday should see mostly Good air quality in these areas. However please pay attention to the Red Flag warnings and Blowing Dust advisories in eastern Washington.
Winds will remain strong enough to maintain mostly Good air on Saturday night into Sunday. It is not impossible for some Oregon wildfire smoke to make its way over parts of the Columbia Basin on Sunday, but it is unlikely to degrade air quality very much.
Expect mostly Good air on Sunday, though Moderate air cannot be ruled out. Better air in the afternoon, slightly worse overnight.
Nevertheless the Air Quality Alert remains in effect because smoke clearing will not be sustained through the entire weekend.