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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 1:20 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at reporting locations today. Satellite smoke analysis this afternoon shows an area of very thin smoke from fires just to the west of Fort Peck Lake. This smoke seems to be tracking to the southeast, east of Billings. Overall, it is not having much of an impact on air quality in the plains, and other fires are creating minimal smoke. Winds have been breezy from the northwest today, gusting over 20 mph across much of eastern Montana.

Tomorrow, the wind won’t be quite as strong, but the wind direction will gradually turn from the northwest today to more easterly. Temperatures will heat up again as the ridge of high pressure moves closer to Montana, pulling up that hot air. We also will have a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Friday’s weather will be much like Thursday’s, except that the winds will start to turn again to become more southerly. Through the weekend and early next week, the ridge will stay over the western US, so our weather will be persistent—hot, dry, and with a chance of late afternoon thunderstorms.
Air quality is GOOD today at all reporting sites. The wind is gusty in most places, but there are currently no fire weather highlights. Tomorrow, a ridge of high pressure starts to set up over the western United States and it will remain stationary at least through the weekend and early next week. Temperatures will be hot during this time, and we will stay sunny and dry, except for the persistent chance of a late-afternoon thunderstorm.
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 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.