Rain in parts of north-central Washington over the weekend limited fire growth and helped firefighters, but these clouds also kept smoke from the fires close to the ground, leading to extremely unhealthy and dangerous air quality readings in many places Monday morning.
|August 2 smoke forecast|
Temperatures across much of eastern Washington are heading into triple digits again. This will increase the fire risk, but it should also bring us back to the pattern we’ve seen in recent weeks where smoke settles near the ground overnight, then mixes into the atmosphere as the heat of the day begins.
This diurnal dilution will unfortunately not be enough. The Washington Department of the Environment issued an air quality alert across Washington east of the Cascade logo as of noon Thursday.
What happens Thursday afternoon, you ask? A stronger weather system is on the way, bringing rain to many parts of the state and enough winds to really push the smoke. This whole new system won’t arrive until Friday, but we’ll see the benefits begin on Thursday afternoon.
Don’t expect much from this front. Although much of eastern Washington will see cleaner air by the end of the week, areas near large fires in Okanogan County will continue to experience local smoke effects anywhere from the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range to the “extremely unhealthy” range.
Local Fire Forecast
Just a reminder that you’ll find regional and state forecasts here on the homepage of the Washington Smoke Blog. Smoke forecasts for specific fires as assigned air resource advisors are just a click away, under the Local Smoke Forecast tab.