Satellite view of wildfires and smoke in British Columbia, 19 August 2018. Photo: NASA Worldview

By Cliff Mass
19 August 2018

(Cliff Mass Weather and Climate Blog) – During the next 12 hours there should be a major influx of wildfire smoke into the lower elevations of western Washington.

The MODIS satellite imagery around noon showed very dense smoke over eastern WA and the north Cascades, with lesser but substantial smoke now over northwest Washington, with a thinning from Seattle southward.

The 2PM image from the GOES geostationary satellite, indicates the smoke is slowly moving southward west of the Cascade crest.

The backdrop of Seattle is getting murkier over time. […]

Unfortunately, if our models are correct, low-level air quality is about to get much worse.  The NOAA/NWS HRRR smoke model prediction for near-surface smoke showed high values (red-purple) over the Cascades and eastern WA at noon (1900 UTC) […]

And fully entrenched at 5 AM Monday. These forecasts are for higher concentrations than in the forecasts for last Wednesday, our last big smoke day. [more]

Smoke Now Pushing Into Western Washington


Near-surface smoke forecast in the U.S. West, 19 August 2018. Graphic: NOAA

By Cliff Mass
19 August 2018

You have heard of rainstorms, snowstorms, and windstorms.  It is time to create another one:

The smokestorm.

And tonight and tomorrow one will hit western Washington, with air quality degrading rapidly to levels that may even be worse than Wednesday of the past week.  Vulnerable folks need to be prepared for this onslaught of smoke.

Large fires are now burning in British Columbia and eastern Washington, injecting substantial smoke into the air. With generally westerly flow aloft during the past few days, western Washington has been protected, but the winds aloft are turning northerly and northeasterly, resulting in the smoke blowing directly towards us. [more]

A Smokestorm is Imminent for Western Washington

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