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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 3:55 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Fire activity has not been very active as of 4:00 this afternoon, as we have seen in previous days. This is thanks largely in part to slightly cooler temperatures, ranging in the low 80s to low 90s, and light winds. Satellite images also show that most of the smoke that is being produced in Idaho is blowing to the southeast. This leaves much of southwestern Montana clearer than we have seen in previous days as well. Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations around the state.

West winds will return to Idaho and western Montana for Wednesday, which means that smoke will blow to the east again over Montana. Southwestern Montana will see smoke again tomorrow afternoon as a result; however, air quality should remain generally GOOD again as smoke stays high in the atmosphere. Overnight, air quality may reach UNHEALTHY levels in Superior for a couple hours, but will clear out again throughout the day. Temperatures will remain above average on Wednesday and throughout the week. Some atmospheric moisture will slowly start to make its way into the Northern Rockies, increasing afternoon clouds and the potential for isolated thunderstorms across the hi-line and the mountains across southwestern Montana. Chances for thunderstorms are small, but will gradually increase each day throughout the rest of the week.
Temperatures are in the low 80s to low 90s this afternoon with light winds. Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations around the state.
Residents near active fires and under plumes aloft need to remain aware of current conditions and use the visibility guidelines to guide their activity decisions as the situation changes.

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




This is the visible satellite image from 3:30 this afternoon. Smoke plumes across central Idaho are not very elongated, but they are pointing to the southeast. The only smoke plume visible over Montana is off the Rocky Mountain Front and it is blowing to the east-southeast. 

This is the visible satellite image from 3:30 this afternoon. Smoke plumes across central Idaho are not very elongated, but they are pointing to the southeast. The only smoke plume visible over Montana is off the Rocky Mountain Front and it is blowing to the east-southeast.


 
This webcam in Bozeman shows improved long-range visibility today.

This webcam in Bozeman shows improved long-range visibility today.


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).

Red indicates hot spot detected. Green represents thin smoke, yellow is moderate smoke, and purple is dense smoke. 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 




The smoke report below compares particulate levels where information is available to MDEQ’s Health Effects Categories. Real time particulate information is currently available in most of the larger urban areas from several different sources including: DEQ run PM-10 BAMS and PM2.5 BAMS, NWS ASOS visibility monitors, and USFS remote access Nephelometers and BAMS. These advisories represent conditions between midnight and 8 AM and may change substantially throughout the day.

Locations and severity of forest fire smoke reports since midnight of the date above at reporting stations.
Health Effects Categories City
  Hazardous  
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

  

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Seeley Lake
Superior
Frenchtown
Missoula
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Great Falls
Malta
Lewistown
Billings
Birney
Sidney
 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value
Vis(x) Visibility value (number of hours)
Vis(am/pm) Visibility value from twice/day reporting stations

Local impacts in areas immediately adjacent to active fires are expected to exceed some or all of the advisory levels.  DEQ recommends the use of local visibility guidelines to evaluate possible health risks and make informed activity decisions.