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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 3:50 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality continues to be GOOD across the state today. Temperatures are generally in the upper-70s to 80s and the weather is very pleasant for this time of year.

A weather disturbance, arriving tomorrow, will change the weather pattern for the next several days. A ridge of high pressure will build over the west, changing atmospheric from the northwest to the south/southwest. This will pull monsoonal moisture up into the Northern Rockies, providing a daily chance for pop-up thunderstorms and rain showers, especially across the southwestern terrain. Winds will stay light to moderate with higher relative humidity values. Air quality is expected to remain generally GOOD, although haze will become more noticeable as the change in wind direction puts Montana downwind of wildfires in Idaho, Wyoming, and even as far away as Oregon. On Friday, as this weather pattern continues, more smoke may become visible across southeastern Montana from a large wildfire in Wyoming. Air quality may become MODERATE from Billings and points east. We will keep an eye on this as even a slight shift in wind direction can make the difference between clear air or smoky air. This same weather pattern will continue through the weekend and early next week, with daily chances for pop-up, isolated thunderstorms. Temperatures will reach average to slightly above average. Smoke may gradually accumulate across western Montana by early next week to cause increasingly MODERATE conditions. We will continue to keep an eye on this as the weather and fire activity develops as well.
Air quality continues to be GOOD across the state today. Temperatures are generally in the upper-70s to 80s and the weather is very pleasant for this time of year.
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 imagery from 3:00 this afternoon. Skies are generally clear to partly cloudy across the state and heavy smoke plumes have not yet become visible from Idaho and Wyoming. However, those smoke plumes typically start to build after 4:00 on these hot afternoons. 

This is the visible satellite imagery from 3:00 this afternoon. Skies are generally clear to partly cloudy across the state and heavy smoke plumes have not yet become visible from Idaho and Wyoming. However, those smoke plumes typically start to build after 4:00 on these hot afternoons.


 
The air continues to look clear here in Bozeman this afternoon.

The air continues to look clear here in Bozeman 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.