Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Smoke swirling over the West

Storms the past few days have really kick started the fire season. There are multiple fires burning in WA, OR, and CA that are sending us their smoke. There is one new fire in our backyard (Shissler Fire). The Bear Creek Fire just over the border in MT continues to actively burn.

Today, we’re looking at a strong 4-Corners high pressure system that will begin to shift and weaken over Idaho in response to an upper level disturbance off the Pacific Northwest coast. This will slightly drop temperatures across the state but there will still be a chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms again. These storms look to be confined to Central Idaho and the highlands surrounding the Snake River Plain. 

Regional smoke from fires in the west that is trapped within this high pressure flow will continue to circulate clockwise around the western United States.  Smoke will move up and down within the boundary layer.  Expect to see higher readings of pollution during the nighttime and early morning hours before improving in the afternoon. Check out that GIF showing the smoke swirling around the West.

Later this week, we may get some relief from the smoke coming out of the southwest of Idaho but we’ll still be getting some smoke from the west and northwest of us. 

GIF source: NOAA HRRR-Smoke vertically integrated smoke forecast valid August 19, 2020

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