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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Monday, July 23, 2012 1:35 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. Yesterday, there were additional small fires reported across parts of western Montana, such as near Lolo, Seeley Lake, and Wolf Creek in Cascade County. It is believed that these were lightning-caused, and again, they were last reported to be very small. The nearby particulate monitors in Great Falls, Seeley Lake, and Missoula, were not showing smoke impacts.

Some of the Fire Weather Watches have been upgraded to Red Flag Warnings across central Montana, and especially off the Rocky Mountain Front. Some of the warnings are in effect through tonight only, and some are in effect until tomorrow night. A cold front is currently making its way across the state, bringing strong winds. It is moving very slowly over the Continental Divide, so points east of there are getting very warm with the last-minute push of hot, southerly wind. There is a slight chance of severe weather and strong thunderstorms across the eastern half of the state today as the cold front passes. Winds will be gusty and a wind shift will take place, with the wind coming mostly from the west and northwest behind the front. Winds will continue to be gusty tomorrow, especially off the Rocky Mountain Front. The somewhat cooler and drier Canadian air will cause very low relative humidities as well. Finally, thunderstorms are again possible tomorrow across far eastern Montana. It will be a busy couple of days for fire concerns, but as of right now, air quality is not affected. The rest of the week will be dry and warming, before another moderately active weather system late in the week and into the weekend.
Air quality today is GOOD across the state. A cold front is making its way east, bringing strong winds, a wind shift, drier air, and a chance for thunderstorms. Red Flag Warnings are currently in effect in parts of central Montana. Winds will continue to be breezy tomorrow, especially off the Rocky Mountain Front again, but drier air everywhere will cause more fire concerns.
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 1:00 this afternoon. 

This is the visible satellite image from 1:00 this afternoon.


 
This is the water vapor satellite image from around 12:45 this afternoon. Areas of dark gray, black, and orange are indicative of dry air. Light gray, white, and purple indicate moist air. This image shows the approximate location of the cold front as of this afternoon, where the dry air behind the front is in northwestern Montana, and the moist air remains to the east ahead of the front.

This is the water vapor satellite image from around 12:45 this afternoon. Areas of dark gray, black, and orange are indicative of dry air. Light gray, white, and purple indicate moist air. This image shows the approximate location of the cold front as of this afternoon, where the dry air behind the front is in northwestern Montana, and the moist air remains to the east ahead of the front.


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.