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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

09/16/2014 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Thursday, September 18, 2014

Smoke Outlook

The areas of concern continue to be in the Clearwater Basin due to the proximity of local fires, there is transport of smoke from fires burning in California that is advecting into the southwest portion of the state.  Smoke from fires in Oregon is impacting the northern part of Idaho.  Smoke impacts were limited to regions close to fires as DEQ’s monitors were slightly elevated and in the Good and Moderate categories yesterday; however, the Grangeville area experienced a 24hr AQI of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

The upper level ridge currently centered over Idaho will be suppressed today as an upper level disturbance will traverse the ridge this morning from the Oregon Coast and eventually pass over northern Idaho this afternoon.  This will provide the opportunity for isolated afternoon thunderstorms and showers.  Surface winds across the Clearwater drainage looks to be from the south with a southwest component along a corridor running from the confluence of the Snake and Salmon to the Clearwater confluence while farther east, surface winds look to be from the south-southeast.  Conditions will be similar on Wednesday with a tightening of the surface pressure gradient as a cold front approaches late Wednesday night into Thursday.  As such, there remains a chance for breezy and gusty winds across the higher elevations in the Central Idaho Mountains.  The Clearwater looks to remain under rather light wind conditions with variable wind directions.

Smoke impacts today will continue to be strongest across the Clearwater with locally heavy impacts near fires with some light transport into central and north Idaho.  Smoke will settle into the drainages again this evening.  Smoke from fires in California will bring light smoke through the Snake River Plain.  Higher values should be expected in the morning before the inversion breaks.  Smoke from fires burning in Washington and Oregon will be transported into the Panhandle and Central regions, respectively once more this afternoon. A brief pattern change will occur on Thursday, but by Friday, another upper level ridge is forecast to develop in the same region and persist into next Tuesday.

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:

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)
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
Less than 1

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