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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Sunday, August 19, 2012 4:00 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air monitoring stations around the state are reporting mostly GOOD air quality across the state. Thunderstorms are starting to show up on radar across southwestern Montana thanks to a very weak weather disturbance and a surge of moisture. The moisture in the air, combined with some clouds and a thin layer of smoke, is creating some hazy conditions this afternoon. However, like I just said, air quality is mostly GOOD. The weather disturbance has helped to mix and clear out some of the smoke that we saw over the state yesterday. There are still areas of MODERATE smoke conditions across the state, like in part of the Mission Valley, extreme southwestern Montana, and parts of far eastern Montana. Webcams are indicating that smoke is starting to move into the Bitterroot Valley, where air quality may become UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPSS. Red Flag Warnings are in effect for southwestern Montana through tonight for those isolated thunderstorms.

Tomorrow and Tuesday will be hot and dry days again, with another period of fire and smoke concern. If any thunderstorms develop on Monday, they will be very isolated. On Tuesday, a weather system will start to make its way near Montana. There will be an increase in moisture and consequently thunderstorms, especially in the late evening and overnight. A cold front will move across the state Tuesday into Wednesday overnight, and temperatures will be about 10 degrees cooler by Wednesday. We will have another quick warm-up, before a larger weather system comes through at the end of the week.
Air monitoring stations around the state are reporting mostly GOOD air quality across the state. The moisture in the air, combined with some clouds and a thin layer of smoke, is creating some hazy conditions this afternoon. However, like I just said, air quality is mostly GOOD. There are still areas of MODERATE smoke conditions across the state, like in part of the Mission Valley, extreme southwestern Montana, and parts of far eastern Montana. Webcams are indicating that smoke is starting to move into the Bitterroot Valley, where air quality may become UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS.
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 2:30 this afternoon.  

This is the visible satellite image from 2:30 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

 Sidney B24
Seeley Lake B24, B8
Frenchtown B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Missoula
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
Great Falls
Billings
West Yellowstone
 

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.