Here is the latest visible satellite image. You see that light grey stuff that moves southward from the BC Coast and swings into NW Washington? That is wildfire smoke. Yuck. And a very dense area of smoke over Vancouver Island. You rarely see such profoundly dense smoke.
Much of BC is now very smoky and the regional media have done a number of stories:
Here is the latest MODIS satellite image--you can really see the smoke. The area over Vancouver Island is VERY thick. Wow. I have never seen anything like it in our area. There are also low water clouds along the coast.
Here is a close up view:
The MODIS satellite can tell where is is seeing aerosols (non-cloud particles). It concurs on the smoky origin of the light gray stuff.
Here some other cams-- several have a sepia-like tonality
Sooke Harbor, BC
Lake Crescent, Olympic Peninsula
Let's look at the latest pollution numbers (small particles) from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website (Time in PDT). There were minimal amounts of particles until later on July 4th. Then it goes crazy. HUGE spikes at Tacoma and Marysville, with substantial rises in Seattle, Bremerton, and Lake Forest Park. I was on a hill at Magnuson Park in Seattle last night....the air smelled of sulphur. Interestingly, some locations show a secondary peak this AM....could that be some of smoke from the BC and local wildfires?
The latest Puget Sound Clean Air Agency air quality map shows a number of locations with unhealthy air (reddish dots in the figure). Green is good. Yellow is marginal
The view from the Space Needle cam this morning around 6 AM shows the smoke clearly. Smoke produces vivid, colorful sunrises and sunsets, something that is obvious in this shot.
Finally, here is a dramatic video from SkunkBayWeather on the northern part of the Kitsap Peninsula, with the camera looking north. The smoke is so thick it looks like clouds.
Smokey Sunrise - 7/5/2015 from SkunkBayWeather on Vimeo.
So, the Northwest smoke season has begun. Heat, smoke, arid conditions, and fires. Folks from California will feel right at home here.