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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 2:30 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations today, and in almost every other corner of the state. Our fires are less active and the weather pattern is favorable for good dispersion. Thunderstorms do keep sparking off new, small fires from lightning, but smoke impacts are very minimal. We are also not seeing much, if any, smoke from places outside of Montana, like the fires in Idaho, Oregon, and Canada.

This will be the last day that most of us will see rain for a while. West of the Divide, there will be ongoing chances for thunderstorms, but to the east things will be mostly dry. A ridge of high pressure will build back in tomorrow and temperatures will warm up. Under the hot, stable dome, the air will become more stagnant, so even small amounts of smoke will start to accumulate. Through Friday, the forecast will be similar each day, with fire concerns starting to show back up. Temperatures will be hot and afternoon humidities will be low. Winds will be mostly light and variable, with afternoon breezes mixing down to the surface. Late on Friday, a disturbance will move through to provide a chance of rain for northwest and northeast Montana. Elsewhere, there will only be a slight chance for thunderstorms.
Air quality is GOOD across the state today. This will be our last day of cooler, wetter weather as a ridge of high pressure builds in on Wednesday. Temperatures will be warmer and fire will be of concern again as the air dries out.
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 1:45 this afternoon, showing patchy clouds across the state. 

This is a visible satellite image from 1:45 this afternoon, showing patchy clouds across the state.


 





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 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  
  Moderate

  

  Good

 All reporting sites 

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.