September 18, 2020

New Podcast: The End of the Smoke Situation and Why is Smoke Prediction so Hard?

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Episode Description

This week I will describe how the smoke situation will greatly improve on Saturday. In my extra-topic segment I will describe how smoke forecasting is done and why forecasters had great success at first and then became too optimistic. 

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Coming Next Week

Next week I will provide a post that evaluates whether climate change has had a significant impact on the recent Oregon/WA fires.  There is a lot happening in the background regarding the situation with KNKX (some background information here),  and I have an extensive update prepared (KNKX Surrenders to Cancel Culture) that I will post next week as well.

If you would like to support the creation of the podcast, please visit my Patreon site


  1. Yesterday, I noticed a change in the late afternoon, first the humidity here in Tacoma, it reached in the low 70% range and also, we had more solar radiation than we've had since last week, in that the sun actually got to the ground, but it WAS weak, but we felt its warmth, or what it could provide through the smoke at any event.

    Anyway, on my way home from Tacoma Central late afternoon, saw the sun, now lower in the sky simply be a not terribly bright red ball in the sky but when I got home and did my documenting to edit, maybe over the weekend into a video, I noted that if I looked straight up, I actually saw some blue, and a few striated clouds, at the time turning pinkish due to the sun slowly setting so I could sense that we may be nearing the end.

    Just now (at 6:47AM) Accuweather is saying rain by 8:00AM! I'll believe that when I see it as Accuweather is not always so accurate. Even the Weather Channel site is similar for the next couple of days.

  2. Thanks. Interesting to understand why we kept getting "it'll clear in just a couple days" forecasts. Hope we're done b.y Sunday. But everyone to the east will get hit

  3. Why do most weather events (rain, wind storms, etc) seem to arrive later than predicted? I would think that there would be an equal chance of an earlier arrival, but that does not seem to be the case.

  4. As I watch it drizzle here (1:10 PM, Lake Tapps), I'm wondering why the rain doesn't seem to do much to wash the smoke out of the air. Maybe this is something you could cover in the future.

  5. How come you guys keep predicting rain and then it doesn't deliver? "" promised rain at noon today- on short notice- and I have not seen a single drop yet.

  6. Air started improving midday now worse again. Not much in 4pm forecast by way of encouragement for tomorrow despite Cliff's comments. Will just have to wait until Sat AM to see what's what.

  7. I liked the podcast; first rate. Your explanation of the meteorological effects of the smoke was straightforward, and it aligned very well with local observations. Thanks for describing a bit about how the smoke model works, too. Thank you for sharing the links, I'll tune in again :)

  8. Rain! Glorious, epic pouring cleansing rain! Pounding like hooves in a herd of rampaging Bison on the roof! Its definitely 2020 when a heavy downpour for 30 minutes is more elating then the entirety of any of the "good news" from the past 6 months.

  9. Oddly enough, over looking Sinclair Inlet at about astronomical noon today it got dark enough that we needed to turn on lighting. About the last time that happened we had a tornado.

  10. There was a brief thunderstorm in Olympia last night accompanied by a bit of precipitation. When I saw the flashes against the slightly orange sky, I wondered if smoke can have an effect on lighting. Or is the layer of the smoke too low to make any difference?

    There was a huge difference in air quality from this morning to evening. A welcome deluge of rain in the late afternoon seemed to clear the smoke out.

    I appreciate your informative podcast!


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