Pattern & Poor Air Quality Persist

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 20:50:40-04

An AIR QUALITY ALERT continues for central and western Montana.

The air is unhealthy. This pattern will continue for the next several days. An area of low pressure off the Pacific Northwest Coast is drawing up smoke from wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho into Montana. While Montana still has active wildfires, most of this smoke is being imported. Regardless, it is important to try to minimize outdoor exposure for long periods of time. Exercising outside is not the healthiest idea either. That same low pressure off the coast will eventually move inland and offer a bit of relief with rain and some cleaner air. That will not happen until late Friday, so expect bad air until at least then. The storm will spread showers and storms across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana by Saturday. Some showers will continue into Sunday. Rain and moisture can act as a filter, cleaning out some of the smoke. However, as long as fires continue to burn there will be smoke. A significant storm that could put out much of the wildfires in the West will not happen anytime soon.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist