September 17, 2012

No More Siberian Smoke! But we got enough of our own!

There is lots of smoke over the Northwest these days from regional fires, as shown by the MODIS imagery below.  And as I have mentioned in a previous blog, we see the unusual movement of smoke from fires over eastern WA to the west side. Dense smoke is found over the eastern slopes of the Cascades and in the valleys of Idaho.

However,....something profound has changed....we are no longer seeing the smoke come over from Asia.  One big reason: many of the Siberian fires have been damped out by the return of cool, wetter conditions. Here are the fire maps from the MODIS satellite for late June/early July and last week...a clear decline.

The European Center smoke (biomass burning) prediction system shows little coming over from Siberia to our area:

Lots of smoke over the equatorial regions of South American and Africa...the reason?   Lot of fires there!

To end, here is a nice shot of smoke coming through Snoqualmie Pass by Richard Burte:


  1. "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, fire next time" ...never enough folksongs in atmospheric sciences ;) (for those of us with webbed fingers, a return of rain would be deemed a blessing overdue)

  2. Just wondering, Cliff. We have a pending camping trip to Lake Wenatchee Friday 9/21 - 9/23, would you recommend we cancel due to air quanlity and presence of smoke? Any recommenations is appreciated (Lake Wenatchee State Park has a burn ban through Monday 9/24)

  3. It's horrible in Quincy. Today and yesterday we finally had ash start falling. It dies down overnight, but by afternoon it gets bad.

    The kids at the schools have been sent outdoors to play in it at recess. I am not too thrilled with our schools at the moment. I'll be keeping mine home if ash is falling tomorrow.

    I know that ash was also falling in Moses Lake. I don't know how far east it has gone. At 4:30pm I could no longer see the sun shining through the layer of smoke over our area. At least yesterday you could see a red orb still glowing behind it. That sickly yellow light is kind of creepy.

  4. @SmH - Considering what I have seen everyday (I commute from Ellensburg to West Side), I would go somewhere else to camp. The air quality is horrible, and they think these fires might merge. Looks like the west side is the side to be on. Ou can probably check here or call one of the Ranger stations near Lake Wenatchee. I know that yesterday they closed a portion of Hwy97 from Blewitt Pass to Hwy 2 because of the fire.

  5. Thank you. Decision made not to camp. Thanks again.


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