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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:30 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Today’s weather across much of western Montana is much different than we have seen for almost a week. Temperatures are cooler, it’s cloudy, there has been some rain, and it is quite humid. However, this is just the story for western Montana. Across the east, we still have Red Flag Warnings in effect through tonight for strong winds, low relative humidity, and thunderstorms. Smoke is still hanging around from fires nearby. Great Falls and towns to the west have seen localized smoke effects from a fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Sidney and northeastern Montana have seen smoke impacts from fires in Canada, and the Bitterroot Valley has seen smoke impacts from a fire in the Bitterroots and fires in Idaho. Elsewhere, smoke impacts are mostly minor.

Sunday’s weather will be similar to today. Western Montana will stay fairly moist with more rain chances. Temperatures will also stay cooler. Southeastern Montana will stay warm and breezy, with continued fire concerns. Thunderstorms will again be possible. Smoke impacts should be equal or less than today. The slightly cooler weather will stick around on Monday as well, but by the middle of the week, the ridge of high pressure will return and temperatures will be warmer again, with continued chances for isolated thunderstorms.
Weather across western Montana has been cloudy and moist, while southeastern Montana has been breezy and warm. Red Flag Warnings are in effect in parts of southeastern Montana today. Smoke is impacting parts of the state, like northeastern Montana, around Great Falls off the Rocky Mountain Front, and the Bitterroot Valley. Tomorrow’s weather will be similar to today, with cooler, wetter conditions to the west and warm and dryer conditions to the east.
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.

Air Quality Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (406) 444-3490
Email: DEQMTSmoke@mt.gov




This is a visible satellite image from 7:00 this evening showing the large amounts of clouds across our region. 

This is a visible satellite image from 7:00 this evening showing the large amounts of clouds across our region.


 





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, and pink 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 




Real time particulate information is currently available in most of the larger urban areas from MTDEQ's Today's Air website.

Today's particulate report below compares particulate levels received from DEQ's
reporting stations with MTDEQ’s Health Effect Categories.

Locations and severity of PM 2.5 particulate values over the past 24 hours from the time above.
Health Effects Categories City
  Hazardous  
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  Great Falls B24, B8
Sidney B24
  Moderate

 Hamilton B24
Frenchtown B24
Seeley Lake B24
Flathead Valley B24
 

  Good

 Helena
Butte
Bozeman
Billings
West Yellowstone
Missoula
Libby
 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value
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.