We awoke to see Washington was in a smoke bath, and western WA was not left out this time.
Yesterday, smoke from British Colombia fires started pushing into the Puget Sound at the ground. And, yesterday and overnight, there was continued strong smoke production from fires in Central Washington, Oregon, and California. And, we had a very complex wind pattern, with very different flow at different altitudes. Smoke was heading south from Central Washington, and swirling clockwise back up to the Puget Sound. This overall mess brought much of the Puget Sound into UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, which is where we are this morning.
Looking ahead… there’s still looks to be a fair amount of smoke up above us (see the vertical profile plot below, the dark grey above about 1000 m). And, it’s likely we’ll get some of it mixing down today. So, in the Puget Sound, we're expecting similar or worse smoke at the ground through most of today. Some places could reach UNHEALTHY, but it's really tough to know precisely how much smoke is up there.
But, the westerlies should start picking up tonight, and much of this will move to the east overnight. By Saturday morning, most of the Puget Sound should improve and be back to MODERATE or GOOD air quality. We may see some California smoke pass overhead on Saturday and Sunday... but the Puget Sound should be able to breathe easy again...
I'm not thrilled with the focus on Western Washington. Eastern has more smoke more of the time, but scrolling time the list of articles shows regular coverage of the West side and less frequent articles about the East. Please focus articles on where it's usually worse.ReplyDelete
Thanks from a breathing challenged person near Spokane...
There was an eastern WA post yesterday and we expect to post an update later today.Delete
I'd also be interested in hearing about how the Chelan/Wenatchee/Leavenworth/Cle Elum areas are looking for Saturday and Sunday.ReplyDelete
Hi Jesse, the clearing will start by late Saturday and proceed through Sunday. Expect USG air improving to ModerateDelete
Thank you for this update. Dealing with the smoke at whatcom county has been difficult so I really appreciate the updates.ReplyDelete
Can you post moving satellite gifs as you did on 8/12/2021? It's very helpful as it validates/invalidates the slower AQI's published by State agencies.ReplyDelete
Jeff, the map air AQIs from ground level monitors at the top of this page is updated every hour. The 5-min satellite animation doesnt tell you whether all the smoke you're seeing is at ground level or aloft. These resources should be used in tandem. You can find the satellite animations at https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/conus_band.php?sat=G17&band=GEOCOLOR&length=24Delete
I'm between Moses Lake and Spokane.ReplyDelete
It's terrible smokey here again today.
When do you expect the Maple Pass area to start clearing up? Saturday, Sunday, or later?ReplyDelete
Clearing should commence on Saturday and continue through Sunday. Prepare for USG air becoming Moderate.Delete
I’d love to know the status of smoke in Ellensburg and the forecast for the coming week. I’m pregnant, and my son has a medical condition, and we’re planning to visit my in laws there Tuesday 8/17 through the next Tuesday.ReplyDelete
I’m getting very anxious about this trip and would love an update - I’m not used to smoke at all coming from
Please see the map of current conditions and the 5-day forecast at the top of this page. Unhealthy conditions now, some improvement over the weekend and back again to USG/ Unhealthy by Tuesday. Hard to forecast much beyond that. We dont know if there will be new fires or if existing ones will flare up etc. Please see the Health protection resources on this blog if you choose to travel.Delete
Planning to do Enchanments on Sunday. Is it feasible? Will it be heavy on smoke?ReplyDelete
Hi Jenil, not heavy, perhaps around Moderate. Clearing should start Saturday evening.Delete
Thinking about camping in Staircase this weekend in Mason county, will it be smoky all day Saturday?ReplyDelete
Clearing should commence tomorrow with the biggest improvements in the evening and later. Expect USG/ Moderate conditions. If you decide to go, please make use of the Health protection resources on this blog.Delete
Ranil and team - you are truly a gift to the whole region. Can I send you coffee? Breakfast? I mean it!ReplyDelete
Sentiments are much appreciated Ryan! We're good. How about you pay it forward... the volunteer firefighters doing a thankless job, for instance? Best wishesDelete
Any thoughts on air quality in the goat rocks over the weekend? Hoping to do some camping out there.ReplyDelete
That area wont be spared of smoke from the Schneider Springs fire (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7775/), so periods of Unhealthy air are expected between now and tomorrow morning. Clearing will start Saturday midday and it should be mostly Good by SundayDelete
Is Eastern Washington going to get any clearing from the westerlies?ReplyDelete
What is the projection for the next week?
Yes, decent clearing starting Sunday. Please see the forecast map at the top of this blog. On mobile devices, you may have to scroll to the bottom and click "Show web view".Delete
Thanks so much for this! It’s super helpful. I know that precision isn’t a thing here, but when you say California smoke may pass overhead Saturday/Sunday, any idea how thick/high? I’ve been out when it was clear that the Cascades Volcanoes were in smoke and everything below that wasn’t bad, and when it was clear in North Bend but halfway up Si was terrible - a vague idea of which one ‘overhead’ might mean would be awesome. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Hi Eric, judging by the satellite pics and some model info, the smoke towers above the mountain peaks. So you wont be able to get above the smoke layer by hiking up high. However the models also show that much of it ranges from 1-3 miles above sea level.Delete