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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, August 8, 2013 8:32 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is generally GOOD across most of the state. Cumulative particulate concentrations, averaged over the last 24 hours, have become MODERATE in Sidney, but all hourly concentrations have been GOOD. A region of light smoke moved across northeastern Montana late yesterday and overnight, which has contributed to these conditions. It is likely that air quality conditions are similar across the region. It also appears that there are a couple of sites that are down this morning on the Today's Air
network, but just remember to use the VISIBILITY GUIDELINES in these instances or if you are outside of the Today’s Air network.

Atmospheric winds will be relatively light today, so smoke will be slow-moving from eastern Idaho to western Montana. If this smoke does make it over the border, it will likely be later this evening. Air quality should remain generally GOOD across western Montana even if skies become a bit hazy. Atmospheric winds will keep smoke from Wyoming out of southeastern Montana again today so air quality should remain generally GOOD. A steady stream of light haze may continue to blow across far northeastern Montana throughout the day, and even though cumulative particulate concentrations may remain the MODERATE range, hourly concentrations are expected to remain at GOOD levels. Monsoonal moisture will start to blow into the Northern Rockies this afternoon, so isolated thunderstorms over the mountains, especially across the southwest, are possible today. Temperatures will range from the low 70s to low 80s with relative humidity values in the 20-50% range. Winds will be light except for the occasional moderate gust later this afternoon.
There will be another update later this afternoon with a full forecast and a greater potential for some smoke impacts this weekend and early next week.
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




 




 








 




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

 Sidney B24
(hourly concentrations are GOOD)
 

  Good

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

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.