Wildfire Smoke Updates Home | Archived Wildfire Smoke Updates | Today's Air

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, July 20, 2012 2:10 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD across most of the state today. With dense cloud-cover today, satellite-derived smoke products are unable to pick up on some slight smoke impacts we are seeing in certain areas. With the hotter and drier weather for the past few days, the Chrandal Fire in the Bitterroot has expanded somewhat and smoke is impacting the Bitterroot Valley, but only slightly. Air quality, even at long-term exposure, remains GOOD. Far eastern Montana is also seeing slight smoke and haze from the region, and a fire near the Wyoming/Montana border is causing some locally MODERATE smoke impacts. Otherwise, the weather today is becoming more active with a passing disturbance, providing better dispersion.

This disturbance, its clouds, and wetter conditions will exit the state tonight for a drier weekend. Temperatures will still be warm, with mostly 90s across the state. There will be a slight chance for afternoon thunderstorms over the weekend, but most should be confined to the southwestern mountains. We are expecting a larger low pressure system to pass over the Northern Rockies on Monday with a decent cold front. Thunderstorms and gusty winds with the cold front are possible to start and/or fan fires. Behind the cold front for the middle of the week, the air will be much drier and still breezy on Tuesday, which will also cause fire concerns.
Air quality is GOOD across most of the state today. The Bitterroot Valley is seeing some slight smoke impacts from the Chrandal Fire, but particulate concentrations are still GOOD there. Also, far eastern Montana has seen a broad region of light smoke, and locally heavier (MODERATE) smoke near the Wyoming/Montana border. A weather disturbance is passing across the state now, making way for a warm, dry weekend. Looking ahead, we are expecting a low pressure system and cold front on Monday, to bring the chance for thunderstorms, gusty winds, and dry air, which will prompt fire concerns again.
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 1:30 this afternoon, showing the large area of clouds across eastern Montana in association with the weak weather disturbance today. 

This is the visible satellite image from 1:30 this afternoon, showing the large area of clouds across eastern Montana in association with the weak weather disturbance today.


 





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.