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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

09/13/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 10am MDT Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Smoke Outlook


Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good air quality category across the state today.  All monitors are currently reading in the Good Category except for Garden Valley and Franklin which are currently reading in the Moderate Category.  Lowman was in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups for a 24 hour AQI yesterday. 
                                                  
Today will see a continued chance of showers across southern Idaho with showers currently occurring over much of southeast Idaho.  South Idaho will see winds from the northwest to northeast at 8-12 mph.  Northern Idaho will see 5-10 mph with northeast winds.  Skies will be sunny across northern Idaho and partly cloudy to sunny over southern Idaho. Mixing heights will range from 2,000-5,000 feet AGL across all of Idaho today.  Transport winds will be from the northeast to northwest at 10-15 mph.

Smoke impacts are expected to be greater in the morning prior to the inversion lift.  Dispersion this afternoon looks to be good and will promote clearing after the inversion lifts around 11am-12noon today over all of Idaho.  This morning, expect smoke into the Upper Treasure Valley, just east of Boise, north into Emmett via the Payette River drainage, and through the Big and Little Wood drainages into the northern Magic Valley from Craters of the Moon to Fairfield.  Also expect drainage into Garden Valley.  This afternoon, smoke will lift and move generally to the north, albeit not far from their sources.  This evening, expect smoke to drain into the Lower and Upper Treasure Valley via Garden Valley as well as into Emmett again via the Payette River drainage.  Smoke is also expected to enter the Upper Snake River Plain and Southeast Highlands before lifting tomorrow afternoon. Expect similar impacts tomorrow night with smoke extending farther east in the Lower Snake to as far east as Mountain Home as well as across the northern Magic Valley from Fairfield to just west of Idaho Falls.



DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:                           

  • None at this time.


View real time smoke monitoring at:  http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires


View DEQ near-real time monitoring at: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/


The USFS installed monitors near Stanley, Idaho, Garden Valley, Idaho and Lowman, Idaho.  Idaho DEQ has installed temporary monitors in Fairfield and Boise (Garden City), Idaho. The information can be found at http://smoke.airfire.org/monitoringReport/#/?date=LATEST&productType=plotTable.

·         Stanley, ID monitor is Stanley-Idaho 75

·         Lowman, ID monitor is Lowman-Jolene Drive

·         Garden Valley, ID monitor is Garden Valley-Babcock Lane

·         Fairfield, ID monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road

·         Boise, ID monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street


Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/


Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 


AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1

How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:


a. Face away from the sun.
b. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
c. Visible range is when an object you can easily see in the distance disappears.
d. Use the visibility values above to determine the local wildfire smoke category.