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Winter Air Quality Update & Forecast
Friday, August 15, 2014 9:57 AM

Locations and Air Quality Conditions


Current Situation Forecast
Air quality is GOOD at all locations this morning as the unsettled weather has kept skies clear. However, high relative humidity has led to some hazy skies in many locations. As of this morning, no new major fires have been reported in Montana as a result of the thunderstorms. The existing fires near Thompson Falls and Dixon have both grown to over 1000 acres this week. Despite this growth, the temporary monitor in Thompson Falls is reporting GOOD hourly concentrations this morning.

The low pressure that has been causing the showers and thunderstorms will slowly move to our east over the weekend. Throughout this period showers and thunderstorms are once again possible. Westerly mid-level winds will take over as the low pressure moves east. This will put Montana directly downwind of large fires burning in Idaho and points west. Smoke impacts may return to the area but may be mitigated by precipitation.

Overall GOOD air quality is expected at most locations today as unsettled weather blocks the transport of smoke into Montana. Areas downwind of the Thompson River Complex and the Seepay fire (near Dixon) may see elevated smoke impacts in between precipitation events. Smoke may impact the area this weekend but precipitation will hopefully mitigate these impacts.

Air quality is GOOD across the state this morning and is expected to remain GOOD throughout the day. Mid-level winds will be shifting to the west this weekend and Montana will be downwind of some large fires. This may lead to increased smoke impacts but showers and thunderstorms may help keep smoke from building up. Areas downwind of local fires may see increased smoke impacts.

Kristen Martin
State Air Quality Meteorologist
Air Resource Management Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (406) 444-0283
Email: kmartin@mt.gov




The unsettled weather is visible as cloud cover on satellite imagery.  

The unsettled weather is visible as cloud cover on satellite imagery.
Source: NWS

 
There are stormy conditions in Hamilton this morning.

There are stormy conditions in Hamilton this morning.
Source: KTVQ

This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows the active fires in Montana and the smoke plumes combining and spreading downwind (the analyzed smoke is based on yesterday’s satellite coverage, the fire detects are based on last nights satellite coverage).


This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows the active fires in Montana and the smoke plumes combining and spreading downwind (the analyzed smoke is based on yesterday’s satellite coverage, the fire detects are based on last nights satellite coverage). <br />

Red indicates hot spot detected. Grey represents smoke seen by satellite. Fire size is exaggerated for visibility at this scale. To identify individual fires on graphic above go here: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/lg_fire2.php  




Real time particulate information is currently available in most of the larger urban areas from MDEQ's Today's Air website.

Today's particulate report below compares particulate levels received from DEQ's
reporting stations with MDEQ’s wildfire health advisory levels.

Locations and severity of PM 2.5 particulate values since midnight of the date above.
Health Effects Categories City
  Hazardous  
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

  

  Good

 All reporting sites. 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value