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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Saturday, August 31, 2013 4:58 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear and visibility is good now that atmospheric winds have re-directed most of the wildfire smoke in the west so that it will not impact Montana today.

On the satellite image below, there is one smoke plume from the Gold Pan fire that will affect Montana throughout the evening. It has already drifted over the far southern Bitterroot Valley and is now approaching the Big Hole Valley. It will blow generally east and southeast throughout the evening, becoming visible over Butte, Ennis, and possibly Dillon and Bozeman. Air quality impacts will be very minimal, with particulate concentrations becoming MODERATE at worst. The rest of the state will continue to see GOOD air quality throughout the night. By Sunday, the ridge of high pressure that is bringing clear skies today will start to move east. High atmospheric winds will blow from the southwest across western Montana by Sunday afternoon and evening, so wildfire smoke will take that southwest-to-northeast path across the state. By tomorrow evening, smoke will be visible across parts of southwestern Montana, as well as the southern Bitterroot. Air quality will stay generally GOOD. Temperatures will warm up and fire danger will start to increase. On Monday, temperatures will stay very warm with increasing fire danger as the change for afternoon thunderstorms increases. Smoke from the Rim fire in California will probably start to drift over the state by Monday afternoon or evening, decreasing long-range visibility over parts of western and central Montana. Afternoon thunderstorms will become even more likely by Tuesday as wildfire smoke from Idaho and California likely remains over Montana as it did this past week. There is still no clear sign of any significantly cooler, fall-like weather in the forecast.
Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear and visibility is good now that atmospheric winds have re-directed most of the wildfire smoke in the west so that it will not impact Montana today.
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 4:15 this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear across the entire state. Smoke from the Rim fire in California has pushed into southern Idaho, but atmospheric winds should push it east over Wyoming. The only smoke plume that is visible on this image that will affect Montana is from the Gold Pan fire in the far southern Bitterroot Valley. 

This is the visible satellite image from 4:15 this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear across the entire state. Smoke from the Rim fire in California has pushed into southern Idaho, but atmospheric winds should push it east over Wyoming. The only smoke plume that is visible on this image that will affect Montana is from the Gold Pan fire in the far southern Bitterroot Valley.


 





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.