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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 9:19 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is generally GOOD around the state this morning. Cumulative particulate concentrations are MODERATE in Frenchtown, Butte, and Bozeman, but all hourly concentrations have been GOOD since midnight. Cumulative concentrations have just reached levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Hamilton, but hourly concentrations have also been mostly GOOD. Skies are cloudy this morning across far western and eastern Montana, with some high-atmospheric smoke visible on satellite images in the clear, central Montana. High atmospheric winds that are blowing from the southwest are pulling up monsoonal moisture into the Northern Rockies, which is why we have so many clouds across the region. This moisture and unstable air will lead to afternoon thunderstorms and rain showers today. MODERATE smoke impacts are possible across much of western and central Montana through this evening, with continued impacts that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS particularly in the southern half of the Bitterroot Valley. Areas that will see GOOD air quality today include the northern half of the state and most of eastern Montana. Temperatures will stay above seasonal averages with some gusty afternoon winds possible, especially in the vicinity of thunderstorms. There will be another smoke update later this afternoon with a full forecast.
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 8:30 this morning showing plenty of evidence of monsoonal moisture around the region with ample cloud-cover. 

This is the visible satellite image from 8:30 this morning showing plenty of evidence of monsoonal moisture around the region with ample cloud-cover.


 








 




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  Hamilton B24
  Moderate

 Frenchtown B24
Butte B24
Bozeman B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Seeley Lake
Helena
Missoula
West Yellowstone
Great Falls
Malta
Lewistown
Billings
Birney
Broadus
Sidney
 

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.