Cloud cover has been widespread across the region recently, bringing some welcome moisture and cooler weather to parts of the state. Unfortunately, those clouds also masked active fire locations and our ability to see smoke in satellite imagery. Despite the recent rain in parts of the state, it wasn't strong enough to put out our wildfires. The NWCC Morning Brief today notes several fires in the Cascades that still are exhibiting moderate fire behavior: Goat Rocks, Bolt Creek, White River & Irving Peak, Minnow Ridge, and Kalama fires. There is also minimal fire activity in the NW Pasayten Complex and Chilliwack Complex.
Residents in Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Methow Valley, and surrounding areas have been living with Moderate to Unhealthy smoke intermittently for many days, and will continue to get impacted by wildfire smoke today. Visible smoke is still evident this morning on the Wenatchee and Winthrop webcams. Winds through the Cascade gaps today will be breezy but cooler temperatures should limit fire growth. There should be fewer smoke intrusions over the weekend but areas close to fires will continue to be impacted.
Tomorrow the winds will start to transition and come from the east, with smoke impacts in the mountain valley areas West of the Cascades expected for several days. The Puget Sound lowlands should also expect intermittent smoke from the Cascades through the weekend and into next week. If recent trends are any indication, residents along the Skykomish river drainage (King/Snohomish county border) should especially expect Moderate to Unhealthy impacts for several days.
Temperatures will warm this weekend into next week and offshore flow is likely, but appears to stay light through the weekend. Most models show continued warm and dry conditions through much of next week, so we should expect moderate fire activity to continue. The good news is that there isn't enough fire activity to cause a large widespread regional smoke event. However, fresh smoke will continue to meander around the Cascades for the foreseeable future, as no rainfall (other than today's leftovers) are expected over the next week.
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