Rain is coming, right on many of our big fires.

UW مجموعة group deposition
The forecast map shows at least light rain
prophesied in much of Washington,
Especially getting around the Columbia Basin.

In much of Washington, any sigh during a cold, humid weekend will fill your lungs with fresh air.

The cold weather pattern is starting to move across the state. It brings fresh Pacific air and drains smoky air from fire parks in southeastern British Columbia, southern Oregon and northern California far from Washington.

This leaves no smoke concern west of the Cascades Range, but fires on the eastern slope of the range and in the Okanogan Highlands can still pack local smoke.

The Washington Department of the Environment will extend an Air Quality Alert (AQA) for the Metho River valleys, the Okanogan Valley, the Lake Chelan region, and Yakima County until 10 a.m. Monday. PM2.5 levels can reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups or unhealthy levels in those areas.

The range of light precipitation will be predominantly in the north-central parts of Washington, as indicated by the ensemble mean of all models. The AQA is being extended despite the rain because the fires are expected to continue to burn for a while. There is not enough rain to completely extinguish them.

Super Square Firefighting Plane
Fly through the fog Thursday night
On the Union Gap Desk in Ecology.
(Photo: Echo Ormos Berry)

The Schneider Creek fire producing scenes like the one here from Ecology’s Union Gap office last night could miss a lot of rain.

However, cooler temperatures will help the fire brigades, regardless of rainfall.

The weather pack also includes thunderstorms and winds. While these can start or provoke wildfires, the general benefit of cool air and rain should help fire crews make good progress over the weekend. Sunday should be breezy and dry, with wetter weather forecast early next week.

We publish an updated local smoke forecast for the Great Washington Fires on this blog Local smoke forecast

tab. Our maps show the latest PM 2.5 monitoring information.

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