Updated 9am MDT Thursday, July 28, 2016
Valid through Noon MDT Friday, July 29, 2016
Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state and generally air quality has improved. Continued impacts are near the Pioneer Fire outside Idaho City where current monitor readings are in the Moderate category. Additional impacts are being recorded southeast into Pocatello and Franklin and the valley floors within the Southeast Highlands. Expect nocturnal drainage into Salmon will occur this evening due to the proximity of the Comet Fire. Impacts into Salmon will depend on fire activity. The northern Magic Valley should expect to see light impacts throughout the day today and into this evening as the northwest winds bring smoke into the region.
A northwest flow pattern has established aloft today after the passage of a weak disturbance yesterday. This will bring slightly cooler temperatures and an increase to surface and transport winds. This will promote better dispersion as transport winds will be higher and mixing heights will be higher this afternoon. Except surface winds from the northwest-west at 5-10 mph with wind speeds from 10-15 mph within the Snake River Plain from the Upper Treasure Valley to the Pocatello region and south into the Southern and Southeast Highlands. The Upper Snake River Plain should expect to see winds from the southwest around Idaho Falls and northwest elsewhere at 5-10 mph. Mixing heights will range from 5,000-8,000 feet AGL today. Friday will see a similar pattern with slightly warmer temperatures but similar wind speeds and directions.
Tonight, surface level smoke will drain down the valleys from Salmon south into the Upper Snake River Plain, northern Magic Valley, and Upper Treasure Valley once again. During the day tomorrow, this will lift and move to the east. By sundown tomorrow evening, expect to see higher concentrations along a line running from Fairfield to Arco, north of highway 20 and into the Big and Little Wood drainages. Expect consistent moderate impacts to the Idaho City area and Salmon area. There is a chance for light impacts within the Teton Valley, and St. Anthony and Ashton regions as smoke from fires in western Wyoming advects westward along the valley floors this evening and early tomorrow morning.
Air Quality Advisories:
· None at this time
View real time smoke monitoring at: http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires
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. Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/
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.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Less than 1
How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:
a. Face away from the sun.
b. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
c. Visible range is when an object you can easily see in the distance disappears.
d. Use the visibility values above to determine the local wildfire smoke category.