As I have discussed before, HRRR stands for High Resolution Rapid Refresh, a NOAA/NWS numerical weather prediction system that produces high-resolution (3-km grid spacing) analyses and forecasts every hour. This modeling system was a major advance for short-term prediction, also known as nowcasting.
More recently, HRRR-Smoke was developed, a modeling system that predicts the distribution of smoke over the U.S.. HRRR-Smoke makes use of the atmospheric chemistry capabilities of the WRF-Chem modeling system, and determines the distribution of fires (and their intensity) based on satellite observations. It then runs fire models that simulate the production of smoke that the wind field of HRRR smoke moves around.
Here is an example of HRRR-Smoke for the 24h forecast for 5 PM today. Let's start with the national prediction--not much smoke over the Northwest, except for fires in eastern Oregon and Idaho.
A regional image shows our area in more detail:
Currently, there are quite a few fires burning east of the Cascades, but most are not big smoke producers. Because of moderate temperatures and normal precipitation, fire activity in the Cascades and the Okanogan areas has been minimal (see map)
Yesterday's MODIS satellite imagery confirms that there is only limited smoke east of the Cascade crest. Lots of low clouds over the west.
Future fires? The latest model runs suggest a warming/drying trend over the region, with ridging (high pressure) over the eastern Pacific, as illustrated by the upper level (500 hPa) map for 11 PM Thursday.
Some areas of eastern Washington will surge to 100F or more--the latest forecast by weather.com for Yakima shows this:
Fortunately, there is little lightning expected this week, but some ongoing fires could surge as temperatures warm.