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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Monday, August 5, 2013 3:44 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is currently GOOD at all reporting locations this afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms are starting to pop up across much of the state as a weather disturbance moves through. Thick clouds both on satellite images and webcam images are making it difficult to detect any smoke, but from the information available, it appears that the “worst” smoke impacts are actually just a light haze in parts of the Bitteroot and far southwestern Montana.

Red Flag Warnings are still in effect for parts of eastern Idaho where active wildfires currently exist. If wildfire activity increases significantly later this afternoon, smoke will travel due east across far western and southwestern Montana, from the Bitterroot to the Gallatin Valley. As this weather disturbance pushes south/southeast across the state, it may interact with this smoke. This may cause MODERATE smoke conditions late this evening and overnight in parts of the southwestern region of the state. Otherwise, air quality should remain generally GOOD if this interaction does not take place. Air quality will remain GOOD across the rest of the state as well. On Tuesday and Wednesday, calmer and drier weather will move into the Northern Rockies. Atmospheric winds will blow any smoke to the east and southeast and fire activity will be average. Although smoke may become visible across much of western and central Montana, air quality is expected to remain generally GOOD. From Thursday through the weekend, the atmosphere will become more unstable again. Clouds will increase and there will be another daily chance for isolated thunderstorms.
Air quality is currently GOOD at all reporting locations this afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms are starting to pop up across much of the state as a weather disturbance moves through.
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 2:45 this afternoon. Increasing clouds across eastern Idaho and western Montana is making it difficult to detect any wildfire smoke plumes. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:45 this afternoon. Increasing clouds across eastern Idaho and western Montana is making it difficult to detect any wildfire smoke plumes.


 
This webcam in Hamilton shows that there is only a light haze over the Bitterroot Valley this afternoon.

This webcam in Hamilton shows that there is only a light haze over the Bitterroot Valley 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.