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

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, October 4, 2012 3:45 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality has been GOOD today across Montana. Cumulative particulate concentrations just became MODERATE in Seeley Lake, but hourly concentrations have been GOOD. Satellite images below show that wildfire smoke is being produced from wildfires in Idaho, but atmospheric winds are keeping their smoke out of our state. A few inches of snow also fell on wildfires in the Flathead National Forest/Bob Marshall Wilderness area along the Continental Divide, which have greatly debilitated wildfire activity there.

Tonight, some valley inversions will develop again as temperatures become very cold. Areas of fog are possible again Friday morning. A weak disturbance will pass, so there is another slight chance for a few more sprinkles or snowflakes at low elevations. In the mountains of central Montana, there is a higher chance for light snow. Temperatures will gradually warm over the weekend but the air will still remain fairly unstable as atmospheric winds continue to blow from the northwest. Inversions will occur each night, and most should break by mid-morning each day. Another disturbance will pass Montana on Monday, with another chance for light precipitation Monday and Tuesday. Air quality should remain mostly GOOD across the state for the next few days.
Air quality has been GOOD today across Montana. Cumulative particulate concentrations just became MODERATE in Seeley Lake, but hourly concentrations have been GOOD.
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. Clouds are still across the state as the atmosphere remains fairly unstable behind the recent cold front.  

This is the visible satellite image from 2:30 this afternoon. Clouds are still across the state as the atmosphere remains fairly unstable behind the recent cold front.


 
This is a high-definition, colored satellite image from 12:15 this afternoon. The Bitterroot Valley is cloud-free in the center of this image. To the west in Idaho, wildfire smoke remains. Luckily for us, atmospheric winds continue to push almost all of this smoke away from our state.

This is a high-definition, colored satellite image from 12:15 this afternoon. The Bitterroot Valley is cloud-free in the center of this image. To the west in Idaho, wildfire smoke remains. Luckily for us, atmospheric winds continue to push almost all of this smoke away from our state.


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 purple 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

 Seeley Lake B24 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Frenchtown
Missoula
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Dillon
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.