Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Alaska Smoke Reaches Washington State (Aloft)

Although there are no major wildfires anywhere over the Pacific Northwest right now, there are many large fires burning over Alaska, producing lots of smoke.    Some of this smoke has extended southward over the Pacific Northwest.

Alaskan has been both warmer than normal during this spring and there are many wildfires burning over the  that state (see below)

For the past several days, some of the smoke has been swept southward, reaching British Columbia and even Washington State.   A measure of the smoke in the air, the aerosol optical thickness for 2 PM today is shown below...you can see what I mean

 High-resolution GOES-17 satellite pictures have clearly shown some of the smoke aloft (see image from Sunday below).

And the NASA MODIS Image from Saturday shows plenty of smoke over BC.

The smoke has remained aloft and air quality at the surface has remained excellent around the region  (see the values of small particles at Seattle below)

Regarding our very wet July 2, the precipitation will end tonight and expect improving conditions through July 4th.   Enjoy the holiday....and be mindful of the substantial smoke that will be ejected into the atmosphere that day.


  1. "Alaskan has been both warmer than normal during this spring"

    This spring? Isn't it worth noting - in a blog devoted to weather and climate in the Pacific Northwest - that the Alaskan warmth is not confined only to "this spring" to the point that perhaps it is, for the past decade or so, actually fairly normal.

    Lots of commentary on California climate on this blog..... a rather distinct lack of it when it comes to Alaska

    1. Check out Danny Westneat's latest article, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/our-neighbor-alaska-is-having-an-environmental-and-political-meltdown/.

  2. Hard to understand how Alaska could have so many fires- though I know they have an early seasonal maximum temperature. But if I am not mistaken, they don't get much lightning...

    1. Alaska is experiencing a major heat wave:

      "Near-record breaking hot and dry conditions through the end of the week"



  3. Cliff,

    Alaska smoke surprised me, but it makes sense.

    Enjoy the holiday!


  4. I'm staying at a place right outside of Sooke, BC - and the weather over the past week has been mostly rainy and cloudy, something that was needed. Fire danger is low and although the vacationers aren't happy, I think it's great.

  5. All time record high temp in Anchorage on July 4. The airport is on the inlet, so a bit cooler than most of the city. What's driving this persistent high pressure?