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, July 16, 2014

07/16/14 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 0900 MDT Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smoke Outlook

Garden Valley continues to be impacted by smoke from the Whiskey Complex to the southeast.  Air quality was in the moderate AQI category yesterday.  The air quality today is forecast to be slightly worse than yesterday.  Air quality is worse in the morning before improving in the afternoon and early evening hours and degrading again once the sun sets.  Yesterday, periods of Very Unhealthy were observed before clearing out the Good after noon.  Garden Valley is forecast to be Moderate today with periods of Unhealthy and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in the morning.  Idaho City is currently experiencing periods of Unhealthy air quality before improving in the afternoon due to impacts from the Whiskey Complex. 

The northwest flow aloft will slowly transition to westerly flow by Thursday.  High pressure will dominate the area over the next two days which will bring warm temperatures and slow surface wind speeds.  The shift to westerly, or zonal, flow will continue to limit any influx of monsoon moisture from the Southwest into Idaho.  This will limit potential thunderstorms through Saturday.

Across the Snake River Plain, winds will be light and generally from the southwest with a strong southerly component over the Upper Snake River Plain.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 2-10 mph with terrain-driven winds through tonight.  Gusts across the Treasure Valley will reach 15 mph late this afternoon.  Transport winds from the northwest at 5-15 mph.  Mixing heights will range from 7,000-10,000ft AGL this afternoon.  The lower heights and slower wind speeds of these ranges are expected across the Lower and Middle Snake River Plain this afternoon with higher heights and faster wind speeds across the Upper Snake River Plain.  Coupled with daytime heating, this will allow for decent mixing this afternoon. 

Smoke impacts today are forecast to be higher than yesterday in the Treasure Valley and western Magic Valley as surface winds look to be lighter and inversion break times are forecast to be later in the day today.  Inversion break time is forecast to be between 11am and 1pm today across southern Idaho.  This will allow smoke to build at the surface this morning.  Smoke from the fires in the West Central Mountains will continue to impact the local communities in Garden Valley and Idaho City.  Drainage winds are forecast to transport the smoke into the eastern Treasure Valley this morning before moving to the southeast.  Coupled with local fires, transport from Oregon may provide some hazy skies aloft with the possibility of this smoke settling in the Treasure Valley this evening once the sun sets.   The Pittsburgh Fire, 22 miles NW of Riggins can be expected to generate light impacts to communities along the I-95 Corridor from Grangeville to Weiser.

Expect to see light smoke and haze across most of the state today with the southeast being the only region spared.  Smoke from fires in Washington and Canadian British Columbia are forecast transport across northern and central Idaho by 5pm this evening.  Impacts from these sources are expected to be light.  This upper level smoke will likely be a larger contributor Thursday and Friday as the weather pattern shifts to a more zonal flow.

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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