smoky sky

A very brief post to let you know…it still looks like this outside. View from Dayton at our Stoller Family Estate Cam

Air quality is still terrible at all inland locations at midday. Keep in mind any number above 300 is considered HAZARDOUS. There has been a slight improvement in just a few spots (Tualatin Valley & Longview) compared to yesterday.

BUT IT’S UNLIKELY WE SEE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN THE SMOKE SITUATION THROUGH TONIGHT

Why?

  1. The dense smoke layer is not part of the input for weather forecast models. Those models don’t know we’re staying chilly in the lowest elevations compared to how “we should be”. Typically we’d be in the lower 80s today under this weather pattern. In fact many areas way up in the mountains will be in 70s. But we’ve been stuck in the low-mid 60s; smoke is blocking a significant amount of solar radiation.
  2. Smoke modeling is BASED OFF THOSE NOW INACCURATE WEATHER FORECAST MODELS. For example the HRRR smoke modeling showed a surge of cleaner westerly wind coming inland last night. That was assuming we warmed up inland yesterday, that would give us the typical onshore flow in the evening. It didn’t happen and the smoke remained.
  3. These same weather forecast models keep trying to bring in a general southwesterly breeze this afternoon across the whole area. That would help “ventilate” some of the low level smoke up into the atmosphere. We have better conditions several thousand feet up with a breezy southwest wind. It’s just not happening down at ground level. But I have doubts that will really happen. Pressure gradients at 11am sure don’t show it’s about to happen.

I’ll be on the air for a bunch of this evening’s shows…starting at 4pm.

Cliff Mass has a much better write up about the current situation on his blog this morning. He’s a professor up at the UW, who I consider the “Godfather of PACNW Weather”. Actually he was my favorite when I was at UW back in 1991. I highly recommend reading his post today.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

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