Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Statewide forecast — Sept. 4: Smoke returns to eastern WA, western WA on track to get a whiff. Improvement on Thursday

Active weather over the last week helped most of the state breathe easy. But much of eastern WA took a turn for the worse last night with fine particle pollution levels ranging from Moderate to Unhealthy. Wildfires in Okanogan County and BC (just north of Stevens County) are the main culprits.

Here's what the latest satellite picture looks like.
A thin layer of smoke covers much of eastern WA, with denser plumes closer to the above mentioned areas (partially obscured by upper level clouds).

Forecast for eastern WA
Winds will die down and allow smoke to start accumulating later today through Thursday morning. This could lead to areas of Very Unhealthy air in parts of Okanogan and Stevens Counties. Unhealthy conditions currently seen in Spokane are likely to improve slightly as winds turn northeasterly.

Here's what the Canadian FireWork model is predicting for 2PM Wednesday (left) and 5AM Thursday:

Not expecting much clearing until late Thursday, but by then we might have smoke from fires to our south brushing by south central and southeastern WA. So don't bank on the air getting much cleaner than Moderate, anywhere in eastern WA before Friday.

Western WA forecast
As can be seen from the model predictions above, some smoke from fires in the Cascades is likely to drift into western WA (more pronounced north of Seattle). This could start as early as this evening, so don't be surprised if today's sunset evokes bad memories. But take heart: it wont be as bad as what we endured recently! Expect improvement by Thursday morning.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the explanation of where this smoke is coming from...again. I noticed our valley from Columbia River on up to Mt. Adams getting smokey again late afternoon yesterday (Monday) and definitely worse today. N95 masks again if it gets any worse.


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