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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

08/14/14 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Thursday, August 14, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Friday, August 15, 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 14, 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. 

Grangeville and Cottonwood experienced at 24hr AQI of Unhealthy while the USFS Emergency Monitor located at the Fenn Ranger Station also recorded a 24hr AQI of Unhealthy with hourly values in the Very Unhealthy and Hazardous. 

Aloft, the strong upper level low pressure system will be centered over northern Oregon.  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.  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, albeit it will not move far.  Conditions remain favorable this afternoon for isolated thunderstorms with lightning and rain/hail across the elevated regions of the state.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 5-10 mph across Idaho with gusts approaching 60 mph near thunderstorms with small hail and damaging winds.  Generally, the surface wind direction will be from the south-southwest with a northerly component across Central Idaho.  Mixing heights will range from 2,000-5,000ft AGL with transport winds from the southwest at 5-15 mph.

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.  Transport to the north looks to be quite limited today.  Current BlueSky model runs suggest that smoke will linger in the areas close to the source rather than advect out of the area.  The 24hr AQI forecasts for the Grangeville, Lewiston, McCall, Pinehurst and St. Maries areas are in the Moderate category for Thursday.  Higher values should be expected in the morning before the inversion breaks.

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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