An Air Quality Alert has been issued until further notice in Lincoln and Sanders counties due to elevated particulate concentrations
Air quality in Libby is currently UNHEALTHY,
Air quality in Thompson Falls is currently UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS
When air quality is VERY UNHEALTHY, state and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion.
When air quality is UNHEALTHY, state and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.
When air quality is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, state and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.
CURRENT SITUATION AND FORECAST
After the monitor in Libby got going and adequate data has been collected, it is showing UNHEALTHY air due to cumulative exposures, while Thompson Falls is currently UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITVE GROUPS. Everywhere else, conditions are GOOD.
High humidity and patchy fog fill some northwest Montana valleys this morning, but will be quickly dissipated by the sun and a building high pressure ridge. Libby and Thompson Falls continue to be impacted by smoke despite the humidity. Cloud cover yesterday prevented satellite analysis from detecting smoke or thermal anomalies, but conditions from the last few days suggest that the wildfires continue to burn in northwest Montana and northern Idaho. A high pressure ridge is continuing to strengthen today, and drier and warmer conditions are expected for today and Saturday, so conditions may not improve greatly unless fire activity significantly changes. A cold front is expected on Sunday, bringing in high winds, cooler temperatures, and will hopefully see widespread precipitation. This system will hopefully help alleviate fire activity and increase smoke dispersion. Until then, wildfire activity in northwest Montana and Idaho will be the major contributor to the smoke impacts.
Expect air quality conditions in the MODERATE to UNHEALTHY range in northwest Montana for the coming days. Expect GOOD to MODERATE conditions everywhere else.
Air quality is at UNHEALTHY levels at Libby and UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS at Thompson Falls. At all other reporting locations, levels are GOOD. The most significant impacts will continue in northwest Montana, with some chances of smoke making its way to the Flathead Valley and the Missoula Valley, downwind of the major fires identified over the last several days by satellite imagery and analysis. The building ridge of high pressure through today and tomorrow will probably not help alleviate conditions, but a cold front arriving on Sunday should help mitigate fire activity and smoke impacts.