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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

09/26/2014 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Friday, September 26, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Monday, September 29, 2014

Smoke Outlook

The areas of concern today will be focused on the Clearwater Drainage where heavy smoke was visible within the drainages on yesterday’s visible satellite imagery.  Smoke impacts were relatively local yesterday as all of DEQ’s monitors were in the Good category for the 24hr AQI except for McCall, which was in the Moderate category, and the temporary monitor in Lowell, which was in the Very Unhealthy category.

Latest satellite imagery clearly shows the upper level trough beginning to dive south and is splitting from the upper level low pressure system currently located off the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands.  There is a chance for morning showers across the central and southwest parts of southern Idaho early this morning with a dry period before showers return late this evening. Skies are expected to be partly cloudy all day as isolated to scattered showers develop this morning before clearing some, then showers again late in the afternoon.  Surface wind speeds will be between 5-15 mph with northwest flow in the Southwest and Middle Snake River Plain with southwest flow across the rest of Southern Idaho.  Transport wind speed is forecast to be in the range of 10-15 mph.  Transport wind direction is forecast to be south-southwest.  This weekend looks to have persistent showery weather across all of Idaho from I-90 south to the NV/UT border on both Saturday and Sunday.  Northerly winds dominate the surface landscape on Saturday while easterly winds develop on Sunday over the Clearwater Basin with speeds ranging from 5-10 mph.  This weather is favorable for limiting fire activity and smoke development; however, it also promotes low-hanging smoke in low elevation regions and drainages.  This pattern persists into Monday as one upper level low pressure systems tracks east; another system will approach the Washington Coast, near Vancouver Island.

Smoke impacts today will be focused on the Central Idaho Mountains with smoke forecast to cover Idaho north of a line running from McCall to Salmon all the way to Sandpoint.  Light surface winds and an upper level split flow pattern will promote limited dispersion as well as limited transport.  Fires in California received some precipitation last night which should help to limit smoke production.  By Saturday, the limited movement of the atmosphere will continue promote stagnant conditions with limited dispersion coupled with a northerly wind shift, residual smoke is forecast to entrain to the south.  Smoke is forecast to cover a region ranging from the Treasure Valley north to Sandpoint.  On Sunday, coupled with the easterly wind shift, impacts are forecast to stay north of the Salmon River to the Idaho Canada border.  There is a chance for light impacts draining that evening into the Treasure Valley and east to Mountain Home.

DEQ has installed a monitor in Riggins.
DEQ has installed a monitor in Lowell.
o    Riggins monitor is #1001
o    Lowell monitor is #1002
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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