Wildfire smoke sticking around

Posted at 3:27 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 17:27:26-04

BOZEMAN – Widespread wildfire smoke blankets southern Montana Thursday. Unfortunately, more smoky days are likely for Montana and most of the western U.S.

Most of the wildfire smoke is coming form large out of control wildfires in central and northern California. There are fires in Oregon, Washington, and here in Montana that is adding additional particulates to the atmosphere.

The flow aloft is out of the WSW and that is directing the huge smoke plumes to lift to the NE up into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Air quality ratings Thursday showed most reporting stations holding steady in the “moderate” range. That is just above Good. The longer the smokes sits over the region the worse the air quality will deteriorate.

The other weather issue Thursday is afternoon thunderstorms and possible new fire starts. A RED FLAG WARNING is back up over SW Montana through 10 pm Thursday. So please be very careful with all outdoor activities.

Starting Friday High-pressure will gain more strength over the region and should lock us into a dry and hot weather pattern heading into the weekend. However, it will also likely trap wildfire smoke over the region through next week.