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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, September 5, 2013 3:51 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality continues to be mostly GOOD across the state this afternoon. Cumulative particulate concentrations are at MODERATE levels in Frenchtown and the Flathead Valley, but all hourly concentrations have been GOOD today. A large area of rain and thunderstorms is moving across part of northwestern Montana at this time, with more thunderstorms developing across central Montana. Thunderstorms are also developing across Idaho, and these storms may continue to move to the northeast into southwestern Montana throughout the evening.

Air quality will remain generally GOOD to MODERATE throughout the evening across western, southwestern, and central Montana. Thunderstorms will continue to develop and move across the state through the night as well. The air will be hot and unstable again on Friday with more thunderstorms expected throughout the day. A cold front will cross the state from late Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning which will cause windy conditions. The large low pressure system that is responsible for the cold front and all of this precipitation will slowly move across the Northern Rockies from Saturday through Tuesday. Winds will stay breezy with a chance of thunderstorms on Saturday, but temperatures will be noticeably cooler. Air quality will stay MODERATE to GOOD across southwestern Montana, with visible smoke reducing throughout Saturday evening. By Sunday and Monday, air quality should be GOOD at all locations with little smoke around the state. Thunderstorms and cooler temperatures will stick around on Sunday and Monday, but temperatures will start to climb by Tuesday after the low pressure system moves east and a high pressure system moves in behind it.
Air quality continues to be mostly GOOD across the state this afternoon. Cumulative particulate concentrations are at MODERATE levels in Frenchtown and the Flathead Valley, but all hourly concentrations have been GOOD today. A large area of rain and thunderstorms is moving across part of northwestern Montana at this time, with more thunderstorms developing across central Montana. Thunderstorms are also developing across Idaho, and these storms may continue to move to the northeast into southwestern Montana throughout the evening.
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 3:30 this afternoon. 

This is the visible satellite image from 3:30 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

 Frenchtown B24
Flathead Valley B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
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.