Idaho Smoke Map

Idaho Smoke Map Legend

**(Preliminary Data Warning: Data found on the map shown below is preliminary and is subject to change. Data is in local standard time format - no adjustment for daylight savings time. The map is not able to display the temporary monitors. Check the AIR QUALITY NOW tab below for links for these monitors.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

08/13/14 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Thursday, August 14, 2014

Smoke Outlook

Idaho DEQ has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for the following areas:
  • Latah, Nez Perce, Idaho, Lewis, and Clearwater Counties (Off the Nez Perce Reservation)-effective  through 10:00am PDT August 13, 2014, at which time is will be re-evaluated and either extended or lifted.
The areas of concern continue to be in the Clearwater Basin due to the proximity of local fires, there is limited transport from fires in neighboring states; however fires near the borders are likely impacting the area to some degree.  Yesterday, all of DEQ’s north Idaho locations experienced impacts from wildfire smoke with 24hr AQI values of Moderate with Salmon also experiencing Moderate values. 

Aloft, the strong upper level low pressure system will be centered over northern Oregon.  There is a diffluent region above southern Idaho today which will generally promote thunderstorm development.  Southwest flow aloft and monsoon moisture advection will continue over southern Idaho and interact with small shortwaves that are spinning around the main low pressure system.  Convective indices are very high today suggesting that thunderstorms are likely this afternoon with some shadowing in the Lower Snake River Plain.  Gusts up to 60 mph and small hail are also possible near thunderstorms.  Morning inversions will allow smoke to pool in the drainages before lifting with warming temperatures.  Winds will transport the smoke primarily to the north this afternoon.

There is a RED FLAG WARNING across most of the state covering all of northern Idaho and most of the southwest that runs through tomorrow afternoon.  Conditions remain favorable this afternoon for lightning and rain/hail across the state.  Fuel conditions will provide high potential for new starts with 44 new starts due to lightning yesterday.  The Boise NWS noted that the number of strikes yesterday was the second-highest daily total for an August day since record keeping began in 2000.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 5-15 mph across the state with gusts approaching 60 mph near thunderstorms with the potential for isolated super-cell development and severe thunderstorms across southern Idaho with large hail and damaging winds.  Generally, the surface wind direction will be from the south-southwest.  There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms across central Idaho from the Central Mountains north to the Idaho Panhandle.

Smoke impacts today will continue to be strongest across the Clearwater with locally heavy impacts in and around the Grangeville area, north into the L-C Valley, and to a lesser extent, north into the Idaho Panhandle due to the proximity of the Big Cougar, High Range, and Johnson Bar fires.  Smoke will settle into the drainages again this evening.  The 24hr AQI forecasts for those areas are in the Moderate category for Thursday.

The USFS has installed a monitor at the Fenn Ranger Station.  The information can be found at  http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl
·         Fenn monitor is Smoke#25
·         Users should be aware that the Forest Service site reports the data in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).  To convert from UTC to Mountain Daylight Time, subtract 6 hours
View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Refer to the Smoke and Health Tab on the Idaho Smoke Information Blog for additional health information. 

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1


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