Thursday, August 9, 2018

Smoke layer starts to erode by Friday night. Says "I'll be back"

Western Washingtonians have smelled a little smoke and seen more aloft. At the time of writing, not a single monitor is showing Good air anywhere east of the Cascades. Not a lot of wind movement between now and Friday evening, so smoke will just keep accumulating statewide. Fires are expected to grow.

Expecting some areas of Moderate air in western WA through Friday evening, while eastern WA will just keep seeing its air deteriorating air (Moderate or worse) through early Saturday morning.

A cold front will swing by Friday evening and start to flush out smoke. A windy and cooler weekend is likely in eastern WA, reducing smoke accumulation in most areas but also worsening fire spread.

9AM Thursday vertical smoke
11PM Friday vertical smoke
Here's what the total smoke layer through the atmosphere looks like today and late tomorrow. The cleaning power of nature will be on display in Washington! Oregon/ California smoke (which has mostly stayed aloft) will be less of a concern this weekend.

Expect mostly Good air in most of Western WA this weekend. Areas away from the fires are likely to scrub out (Good air) over the weekend, but increased smoke production from larger fires during frontal passage is likely to keep cities in Chelan and Okanogan counties at Moderate/ USG.

By early next week, still conditions are likely to return, ushering a return to smoke similar to what we've endured this week. Notice also in the figures above how a series of new fires in central British Columbia are producing a lot more smoke. Wind flows by Monday might start moving some of that smoke toward Washington.

In other news:
  1. The US Forest Service has provided Washington with an Air Resource Advisor, who will be producing detailed, localized air quality forecasts for most cities in Chelan and Okanogan Counties, like the one just below this blog post.
  2. New air monitors have been set up in Plain and Newport, with another en route to Republic. Air quality in those areas can tracked on the map above. Here's what the samplers look like. 
Smoke in the background is a solemn reminder of what people in those communities are enduring.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog. It has been very helpful this summer and the last one as well.


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