Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Weather event on the horizon will push smoke east

The National Weather Service is predicting a transition to cooler temperatures over the next couple of days as westerly winds materialize with the passage of a dry cold front.  As westerly winds pickup tonight, some of the smoke that is over the ocean will pass back over Washington State.  Behind the cold front is the possibility for rain on Sunday in the Cascades with parts of Eastern Washington seeing rain Sunday night into Monday morning.  Unfortunately, there is potential for new wildfire ignitions due to lightning that come along with that storm.

The coastal areas and Southwest Washington should wake up to clean air tomorrow morning, and the rest of Western Washington will follow shortly behind.  Keep in mind that there could still be smoke from Vancouver Island fires that affects Clallam county and smoke from the Maple Fire that affects parts of Kitsap and Mason counties.  Though, that should be minor compared to what has been seen the past few days. The National Weather Service is set to have the Air Quality Alert expire for all of Western Washington tomorrow at noon.

Central and Eastern Washington will likely see smoke make its way back over the state tomorrow, with air quality expected to get worse for awhile.  However, this should be short-lived as westerly flow will continue to bring in some fresh air over the state.  The National Weather Service is set to have the Air Quality Alert expire for most of Central and Eastern Washington at noon on Friday.  The exception is for Chelan, Okanogan, and Ferry counties which will continue to see smoke impacts from nearby fires.  While most of us will enjoy the smoke clearing out, the windy conditions could cause more fire growth to occur.

Check out the Environment Canada smoke forecast for the next 2 days.  Their "Firework" model does a good job of accounting for Canadian smoke.



42 comments:

  1. In Central Washington here, what does "For a while" mean? I see you have written that smoke will be back tomorrow and be around for a while, is that a few days, a week? Thanks!

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    1. Depends where "here" is. Expect Chelan, Ferry, and Okanogan counties to continue to see smoke from local fires. As mentioned in the post, the Air Quality Alert is set to expire on Friday for all other counties, since winds will bring regional clearing.

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    2. Hi my daughter 13 and myself had an over 10 day trip from new york planned to Seattle Olympic park cascades and San Juan islands arriving close to midnight Sat considering canceling due to smoke I dont do well in poor air quality plus don't want to come all that way for limited views etc can anyone tell me if beginning Sunday afternoon and next week is predicted to be good?

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    3. The massive amount of smoke that was lingering in Western Washington cleared out today, and there are no indications in the current long-range forecast that another event like that will occur soon. However, there is wildfire activity on Vancouver Island that is expected to cause intermittent smoke around the areas you plan on visiting. You will likely see conditions vary between Good and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, depending on your location.

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  2. Any idea how the area around Ross Lake in North Cascades will be looking for the weekend? Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for this post. Do you predict that the air will continue to improve through the week and into the weekend in Olympic national park?

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  4. Thanks so much for the post! Any idea when the smoke will return next week? We had photo shooting scheduled last week in Mt Rainier NP but was canceled due to the smoke. We're now looking to reschedule it next Monday or Tuesday.

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    1. Mt Rainier should be OK those days. Perhaps you could see some moderate smoke from Vancouver Island but nothing like we saw the past few days.

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  5. I was curious what the smoke will be looking like in the Olympics this weekend?

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    1. Should be mostly Good air, except close to the Maple Fire. Uncertain if fires on Vancouver island will bring a whole lot of smoke to the NW Olympics

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  6. Thank you so much for the work on this blog. It is a great resource and very appreciated.

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  7. Stopping for a moment to say, Thank You!

    My wife and I recently moved to WA state maybe just a couple weeks before these fires started. Coming from the midwest, wild fires were a new thing to us. In all of my googling, I stumbled upon this blog and it has been such a great help. I really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into these posts to keep us informed. Thank you again to all.

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  8. When will the smoke clear for the trip cities? I want to go out and observe through my telescope. Please tell me. ­čśü

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    1. You last evening to see a blood moon will be today, so please send us a picture of it :). Friday evening should be clear of smoke.

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    2. Thanks and I will send a pic.

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  9. Have a large group heading out to hike the Enchantments this Saturday, few miles southwest of Leavenworth. Any chance for a clear-ish hike that won’t be too bad air quality wise for a 12+ hour hike?

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    1. Winds should be in your favor, blowing Chelan County fires smoke away from you. If the winds change, though, you could see smoke.

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  10. Hi there, I’ve been searching for answers and cannot find them. I’m hoping this might help. I live on the very top floor and we haven’t opened our windows for a few days now. Unfortunately we don’t have air conditioning. And the stuffiness and heat is quite unbearable now. Can I open up windows to vent out for a little? Or what air quality number as I looking for before I can open my windows. If it helps, I am located in Everett.

    Thanks!!!

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    1. It looks like things are starting to clear out there now. May be another hour or so. It should smell like fresh air if you open the window!

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    2. Thankfully the smoke has cleared up a lot in Everett and other parts of Washington. However, we’re still in wildfire season and we know that others share your circumstances.

      This one requires your judgement. If it’s really smoky, then it is important that you close your windows and doors as much as possible, and use a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter if you can in order to keep the particulate levels down. This is especially true if you have a pre-existing health condition like asthma, COPD or heart disease, or if you’ve had a stroke, as well as for children, pregnant women and people over 65. Pay attention to even minor symptoms to see if you are reacting to the smoke—if so, that’s a good indicator that you need to reduce your exposure. At the same time, heat illness can be dangerous. Closing curtains or shades during the day when it’s sunny and using portable fans indoors with a bowl of ice in front (and windows closed) can help keep the heat down. Track the air quality and open your windows when the air is clean. If these steps don’t help keep it cool enough, consider other places you can be during the day and/or night where the air is cooler and cleaner. Some ideas are a mall, library, movie theater, or a friend or relative’s home.

      …And remember to stay hydrated!

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  11. What would the air quality be for this Friday from 5 AM to 8 PM. We are planning to do a through hike for the Enchantments. Will the air quality be OK or should we postpone it? We do not want to risk our health if it is unsafe. Thanks for keeping this updated!

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    1. Winds should be in your favor, blowing Chelan County fires smoke away from you. I think it should be OK.

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  12. What is the air quality supposed to be for Mt. Adams this friday- Sunday? Planning a climb- all set to go, except worry regarding air quality for the area.

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  13. The Chelan and Entiat air quality monitoring stations have not been reporting for a couple days and I’m wondering about smoke in that area now through the weekend. We are on our way to Stehekin and some of the uplake camp sites right now.

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    1. The Chelan monitor was down for a bit but is back up and reading very unhealthy to hazardous currently. The Entiat monitor was a temporary monitor that the Forest Service setup. You should look at the Twisp monitor for your reference to Stehekin. You can see the latest blog posts for that region which are made daily... expect smoky air due to nearby wildfires.

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  14. As it has been said, air quality in Chelan area won't improve as muchbas other areas due to local fires. Will it improve at all though or is it predicted to remain unhealthy all next week? Looking to travel there but hoping it would be at least closecto lose mod range.

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    1. Chelan County is home to it's own local wildfires. So, we expect continued smoke to impact the area. Perhaps southwest Chelan County can expect nice air since winds will push smoke in the other direction. However, the city of Chelan will likely continue to see Unhealthy air in the foreseeable future as long as those wildfires are burning.

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  15. The air quality in Port Townsend at 6:15pm has greatly deteriorated from what was predicted - a clearing today by 5pm. The site rates it "yellow", but this can not be correct.

    Can you please comment as to what has changed, as earlier it looked like things were just starting to get better and now it's back to yesterdays visability, thick smoke.

    Thank you for this site.

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    1. The above map of air quality monitors has been having some troubles but air quality in PA/ PT hasn't improved as much as expected today. Not sure if smoke from the Maple fire is reaching there. We're still hopeful that they will ventilate out somewhat tomorrow AM. Winds appear to be picking up through the strait but wont be very strong.

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  16. Are we expecting unhealthy to hazardous quality in the Omak area into early next week, or is there any hope for improvement? Camping trip planned for Conconully State Park... Thanks for the great info. The blog has been very helpful!

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    1. No improvement expected there. Too close to large fires and north winds will likely bring more smoke from BC. Check with State Parks if Conconully is open.

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  17. The air quality in Mill Creek area is good now per the monitors. The moon is nearly white, not orange-red. But the air still has the same smell as it did when the air quality was poor. What is the cause of the smell as it doesn’t appear to be PM 2.5.

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    1. Some residual smoke hanging on in pockets, though not enough to cause a blood moon is likely the cause.

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  18. This has been the best info on the net, thanks so much.

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  19. We are planning a 6 day backdrop in the NW corner of N Cascades National Park starting tomorrow. We thought the air conditions were going to clear. But they look a little sketchy again. What is the forecast for this area?

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    1. Smoke from Vancouver Island seems to be making its way there. Not expected to be as bad as it was a few days ago. Mon- Tue could see some smoke from mainland BC but amounts are uncertain. Wont be smoke free though

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  20. Planning a trip to Forks, Hurricane Ridge, Port Angeles for Labor Day weekend. I am worried about the smoke coming back. I have a 5 yo with asthma. Your thoughts?

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