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Winter Air Quality Update & Forecast
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 12:42 PM

Locations and Air Quality Conditions


Current Situation Forecast
Air quality has been GOOD to start the week in Montana due to cold and snowy weather that has persisted since Sunday. A brief lull in weather has caused some areas to see air quality creep up to MODERATE levels this morning. Air quality is currently MODERATE in Libby. Elsewhere, air quality remains good with widespread subzero temperatures and some lingering snow showers. Most places will experience a brief lull in weather over the next 24 to 48 hours. Skies are expected to clear and winds will be light on Wednesday night. This could lead to strong inversions forming in the valleys by Thursday morning. We will likely see more widespread moderate air quality impacts by Thursday morning along with very cold temperatures. Hopefully, these impacts will be brief. Relatively warmer air will move over the area on Thursday and Friday. For valleys that can break out from under the inversions, temperatures should reach the 20s by the afternoon.

More active weather will move into northwest Montana on Thursday evening, likely helping to clear out any built-up pollution by Friday morning. This weather system will move into the rest of western Montana by Friday night, bringing another round of frigid temperatures and snow to the region. By Saturday morning, expect air quality to return to GOOD levels in most locations. The cold, snowy weather is expected to last well into next week. Overall, air quality is expected to be GOOD, with brief periods of MODERATE air quality.

Air Quality Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (406) 444-3490
Email: DEQMTSmoke@mt.gov




Skies are beginning to clear in Montana, paving the way for strong inversions tonight.  

Skies are beginning to clear in Montana, paving the way for strong inversions tonight.
Source: NPS

 
Clear skies and light winds could lead to strong inversions overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.

Clear skies and light winds could lead to strong inversions overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.
Source: Weather Underground

By Friday night, widespread snow is expected in western Montana.

By Friday night, widespread snow is expected in western Montana.

Source: Weather Underground 




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 

  Good

 All other reporting locations. 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value