Smoke in western Washington next week? Crystal ball that says “Ask again later”

While it seems clear that Western Washington should be smoke-free for the next few days, long-term forecasts are that we may see smoke by the middle of next week. Weather models show that a high pressure system will pass over our area as of next Tuesday. This may alter wind patterns near land from the west, which brings clean ocean air, to the north and east, which could bring smoke from British Columbia and eastern Washington. The strongest northern and eastern flow is expected to occur on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

However, it’s hard to know for sure, and model predictions continue to change dramatically.
Take a look at these two predictions for next Thursday. The first was done at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and the second at 5 a.m. on Friday. In those 36 hours, the model switched from expecting strong westerly winds pushing over the waterfalls to moderate easterly winds.

Weather and smoke models are more accurate when forecasting two days or less in the future. So we will post another update on Monday or Tuesday if smoke is still in the forecast.

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