Wildfire Smoke Causing Air Quality Issues

Posted at 8:31 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 10:31:04-04

A high-pressure ridge is building up over the Western United States, which means our weather is going to be quiet here at least for a few days.  High pressure helps slow the growth of wildfires but also traps smoke, lowering air quality.  So while we will see a few days of “clear” weather, the smoke will continue to build up in the air.  It’s already begun to cause issues in Northwest Montana, where an AIR QUALITY ALERT has been issued.  Some locations in this area have been at an “Unhealthy” level of air quality for over 24 hours.  Most areas in Central Montana are in the “Moderate” range, so while the haze is visibly noticeable, it’s not as much of a health concern.

The rest of the work week will be quiet, but changes are coming to our weather this weekend.  An approaching disturbance will move into Montana on Friday, bringing widespread thunderstorms and rain.  Most areas in Central and Southwestern Montana will see rainfall this weekend.  Another round of thunderstorms will begin Sunday evening into Monday. The bad news? It won’t be a very beautiful weekend.  If you have outdoor plans, you’ll want to be prepared for precipitation.  The good news? These storms have the potential to produce a decent amount of rainfall and help to contain wildfire development.  After an extremely dry July, we need all the moisture we can get.

Have a great day!

Katie Alexander