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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 2:45 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
It’s another hot one out there with temperatures in the 80s and 90s statewide, with the peak heating of the day yet to come. The air is also much drier and wind gusts in the plains have been over 20 mph, with gusts over 30 mph off the Rocky Mountain Front. We are still generally smoke-free and air quality is GOOD with the recent weather suppressing fires in the region. We are also not seeing smoke from fires in Canada, which is very close to crossing the northeastern state line.

Canadian smoke really shouldn’t be a problem for the next few days. Any smoke that we see should either come from new or re-intensified fires in Montana or states to our southwest. Parts of Oregon and Idaho already have Red Flag Warnings, which could spread across the Northern Rockies. For now, we are looking at another hot Thursday, with similarly dry and breezy conditions. By Friday, a disturbance will move through the atmosphere, bringing some increased cloud cover, especially later in the day. Some rain and thunderstorms will be possible, as well as much stronger winds in the afternoon into the late evening. Temperatures will be a bit cooler for the weekend.
A ridge of high pressure has moved over the region and temperatures have heated up because of it. The air has dried out and we are even getting some stronger wind gusts in the plains. Thankfully, we are not really seeing wildfire smoke today, so air quality is GOOD everywhere. By tomorrow, with continued hot and dry conditions here and around the region, we have the potential to see smoke impacts from new or re-intensified wildfires.
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 the visible satellite image from 2:15 this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear except for some cumulus clouds showing up over the terrain of southwestern Montana. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:15 this afternoon. Skies are mostly clear except for some cumulus clouds showing up over the terrain of southwestern Montana.


 





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.