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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, September 5, 2013 8:42 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Good dispersion conditions from an unstable atmosphere improved air quality overnight across the state. Cumulative particulate concentrations are still at MODERATE levels in Frenchtown, Missoula, Seeley Lake, the Flathead Valley, and Great Falls, but all hourly concentrations have been GOOD. Observed air quality is also GOOD at all other locations around the state, including southwestern Montana. Rain and thunderstorms are currently moving across far northwestern Montana this morning. Rain and thunderstorms will continue to develop throughout the day and last through tonight as a low pressure system sits over the Pacific Northwest, directing moist, unstable air over the Northern Rockies. Temperatures will still be hot today and winds will become gusty in the afternoon, especially in the vicinity of any thunderstorm activity. Air quality is expected to stay generally MODERATE to GOOD across western, southwestern, and central Montana throughout the day, and GOOD at all other locations. Temporarily heavy smoke may develop in isolated locations today if thunderstorm winds interact with existing wildfires in Idaho or Montana. There will be another 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 8:15 this morning.  

This is the visible satellite image from 8:15 this morning.


 
This webcam on the south summit of the Whitefish ski resort shows rain falling in the Flathead Valley this morning.

This webcam on the south summit of the Whitefish ski resort shows rain falling in the Flathead Valley this morning.





 




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

 Frenchtown B24
Missoula B24
Seeley Lake B24
Great Falls B24
Flathead Valley B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Lewistown
Malta
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.