Sunday, September 30, 2012

Air Time: Winds providing some relief in E WA

Air Quality Program, Air monitoring update

Here is the air monitor and weather update for Sunday (Sept. 30, 2012). For more information, check

A passing cold front brought smoke clearing as anticipated on Saturday. After showing “good” air for about 10 hours, fine particle pollution levels in Wenatchee increased to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” within two hours Sunday morning. Trout Lake is experiencing “unhealthy” air Sunday morning, mainly due to smoke impacts. Cashmere and Entiat (currently “good”) also show increasing fine particle levels. Deer Park and Maple Falls are showing “moderate” levels of fine particles.

All other fine particle monitors in Washington are reporting “good” air. Ritzville, Moses Lake, Wellpinit and Colville saw some short-term spikes in fine particle pollution Saturday evening, most probably as smoke was exiting through the Columbia Basin.

On Sunday, communities near wildfires should experienc moderate winds with smoke impacts. Smoke is likely to drift into the Columbia Basin, but not fill it. Expect some afternoon clearing. Areas to the east of the Basin are likely to see little or no smoke through Monday evening.

A strong cold front is expected Tuesday, but winds will start increasing by Monday evening and help with smoke dispersion. While precipitation appears to be confined to the North Cascades and the far northeastern part of the state, winds will likely kick up windblown dust in the Columbia Basin on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for all of eastern Washington:

The Governor has extended a burn ban on all outdoor burning in eastern Washington through midnight Sunday. The ban does not apply on tribal lands where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

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