We think of our neighbors in Okanogan County who are facing what appears to be the earliest start of the smoking season. The graph below shows how levels of fine particle pollution have evolved between June and September each year since the county’s permanent monitors were established. This year (the thick red line) went up earlier than other years, but thankfully it didn’t go up like some previous years that we all prefer to forget.
This morning’s satellite image shows how, since yesterday, the south winds have continued to push the smoke north. However, this overhead wind pattern can only do so much as high pressure builds up in the area.
There is no doubt that British Columbians love us very much because of all of that.
The good news is that a decent amount of rain is expected in the North Cascades from Sunday through Monday, helping firefighting efforts. But first we have to get through a scorching weekend with light winds. The Air Quality Alert is in effect for the northern counties.
Elsewhere in eastern Western Australia
We expect some smoke from the Oregon fires to start moving over the Columbia Basin starting Friday, causing mild air that could later degrade to “unhealthy for sensitive populations.” Here’s a snapshot of all the different forecasts (also known as “group models”) that we have for Spokane and Colville, for the next five days. Although there is a wide spread among predictions, unhealthy air cannot be ruled out.
Please use the resources on this blog to protect your health during smoke events.
Check out the technical explanation of our group smoke forecast system here.