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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, September 6, 2013 3:42 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD across the state this afternoon. Thunderstorms are starting to develop across western and central Montana. As these thunderstorms continue through the night, some may become severe across the plains.

A cold front will move across the state starting tonight through tomorrow morning. Winds will be gusty along this front and thunderstorm activity will be likely. Air quality is expected to remain generally GOOD across the state tonight, with some MODERATE impacts possible around the Gallatin and Paradise Valleys. Over the weekend, the large low pressure system will move very slowly over the Northern Rockies. Winds will stay breezy on Saturday with a chance of thunderstorms, but behind the cold front, temperatures will feel much cooler. By Sunday, the weather system will be over eastern Montana which will leave mostly dry, calm conditions over western Montana. Air quality is expected to remain generally GOOD over the weekend. A ridge of high pressure starts to build into the Northern Rockies by Monday and this weather pattern will last through much of next week. From Monday through Wednesday, high atmospheric winds will blow from the northwest, which will leave air quality generally GOOD except for some highly localized smoke impacts in the immediate vicinity of any active Montana wildfires. Temperatures will also gradually warm each day next week as we continue to stay about 10 or more degrees above average.
Air quality is GOOD across the state this afternoon. Thunderstorms are starting to develop across western and central Montana. As these thunderstorms continue through the night, some may become severe across the plains.
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 3:15 this afternoon. 

This is the visible satellite image from 3:15 this afternoon.


 
This webcam at St. Mary’s shows thunderstorms going over Glacier National Park at this time.

This webcam at St. Mary’s shows thunderstorms going over Glacier National Park at this time.


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.