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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Saturday, August 3, 2013 5:17 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
The weather remains very unstable and active today. Thunderstorms developed across parts of western Montana earlier today and are now moving through eastern Montana. Temperatures vary widely by location, from the lower-60s to the mid-80s. Relative humidity values remain moderately high which have helped to minimize fire activity thus far today. Air quality at all reporting locations across the state is GOOD.

There is currently noticeable haze around the Billings area, likely from fires in Wyoming, which may create MODERATE conditions overnight. Across all other locations across the state, air quality should remain generally GOOD overnight. Tomorrow, the atmosphere will dry out and warm up to more seasonable conditions. These conditions will be more favorable for fire activity and smoke and haze should become visible across much of western and southern Montana by tomorrow evening. Air quality should remain generally GOOD as the smoke rises high into the air, but some MODERATE impacts are possible in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys with higher volumes of smoke from multiple fires in Idaho. From Monday through mid-next week, high atmospheric winds will blow generally from the northwest across central and eastern Montana, and from the west/northwest across western Montana. Temperatures will be hot and relative humidity values will be moderately low. Fire activity will be average for at least the first half of the work week and smoke will remain visible across much of the state except for extreme northwestern Montana and along parts of the central hi-line. Air quality should remain generally GOOD from hour-to-hour, but there may be cumulative MODERATE impacts across the valleys of far western and southwestern Montana.
The weather remains very unstable and active today. Thunderstorms developed across parts of western Montana earlier today and are now moving through eastern Montana. Temperatures vary widely by location, from the lower-60s to the mid-80s. Relative humidity values remain moderately high which have helped to minimize fire activity thus far today. Air quality at all reporting locations across the state is GOOD.
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 4:00 this afternoon. Scattered clouds are across much of the region, with thunderstorms generating the larger areas of cloud across the plains. 

This is the visible satellite image from 4:00 this afternoon. Scattered clouds are across much of the region, with thunderstorms generating the larger areas of cloud across the plains.


 
This webcam in Billings shows some haze on the horizon this afternoon.

This webcam in Billings shows some haze on the horizon this afternoon.


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

 All reporting locations 

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.