Friday, August 18, 2023

Wildfire smoke impacts in Western Washington this weekend

Recently a westerly wind pattern has been blowing wildfire smoke to the east and keeping it out of Western Washington.  However, winds will shift overnight tonight to easterly – funneling smoke from fires in the Cascades and southern British Columbia into the Puget Sound region.  All of Western Washington may be impacted – with the possible exception of the Olympics/coast.

Forecasted Unhealthy air quality for 5am Sunday

The air quality index is expected to reach Moderate or Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups on Saturday, increasing throughout the day.  Northern counties will be affected first as smoke travels southward.  Continued smoke movement on Sunday could lead to Unhealthy or worse air quality.  Light westerly winds on Monday and stronger westerly winds on Tuesday should help clear out the smoke.

An Air Quality Alert is being issued for the following Western WA counties, beginning Saturday at 9am and continuing through Monday at noon: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom. 

While air quality in Central and Eastern Washington has improved today, northerly winds this afternoon will lead to declining air quality conditions that will continue through the weekend. Air quality alerts remain in place until Monday morning.

Limit your exposure by staying indoors, keeping your windows closed, and using air purifiers.  Track the current air quality on the smoke map at the top of this site.

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