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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:50 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD in most places across the state today. Late yesterday and last night, some areas of eastern Montana, particularly south of Fort Peck Lake and near Columbus, saw periods of MODERATE particulate concentrations from nearby wildfires. Smoke derived from satellites do not indicate that even thin smoke from fires outside of Montana have affected the state.

With the ridge of high pressure sitting closer to Montana, winds have decreased since yesterday and wind direction is variable across the state. To the east, the wind is generally coming from the north, and along eastern slopes of the mountains, the wind is blowing from the east. In the mountain valleys, the wind direction is variable. The forecast won’t change much for the next several days as the high pressure ridge remains stationary over the western US. It will be hot and fairly dry, although relative humidity values shouldn’t drop to very critical levels. The wind will stay fairly light, save for some afternoon gusts, and variable in direction. Each afternoon, we will see a chance of pop-up thunderstorms that start as clouds over the mountains.
Air quality is GOOD in most places across the state today. Late yesterday and last night, some areas of eastern Montana, particularly south of Fort Peck Lake and near Columbus, saw periods of MODERATE particulate concentrations from nearby wildfires. The forecast will stay persistent for the next several days with high temperatures, moderately low relative humidities, light wind with some afternoon gusts, variable wind direction, and a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
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 some of those clouds building over the western terrain. Some of the cloud development is turning into showers and thunderstorms. 

This is the visible satellite image from 1:30 this afternoon, showing some of those clouds building over the western terrain. Some of the cloud development is turning into showers and thunderstorms.


 





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

 Libby B24 

  Good

 Flathead Valley
Frenchtown
Missoula
Hamilton
Helena
Seeley Lake
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Great Falls
Billings
Sidney
 

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.