Advancements in Smoke and Haze Forecasting
When there are multiple fires in your area it's hard to escape the smoke but there are a couple things in the forecast that can help. The first being rain and the other being wind.
When there are multiple fires in your area it's hard to escape the smoke but there are a couple things in the forecast that can help. The first being rain and the other being wind. Both rain and wind can help the smoke break a part and get out of here. Unfortunately we have not seen very much of either of these things lately to help us breath better. Instead it's been very stagnant around here allowing the smoke to stay in the valley. However, with more wind in the forecast the next few days this may help our cause, especially if it's coming from an ideal location that is smoke free. Essentially bringing clean fresh air into the mix.
"The way the wind carries the smoke it depends on the strength of the wind and also the direction," said NWS Meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf.
A strong wind can make the smoke worse directly downwind from the fire itself, but make conditions better elsewhere.
"Forecasting the smoke and haze is difficult because there is a lot of x factors. New fires could start that are not accounted for," said Deutschendorf.
Or current fires could be suppressed. However, thanks to high resolution models and new satellite images, smoke forecasting is getting better.
"Pointer here that I'm showing is just west of Eagle Lake where the Whaleback fire is burning we are seeing this little area of white and grey extending from it is the smoke plume," said Deutschendorf.
The Goes 16 satellite image updates about three times as fast as the older ones, and has a way better resolution. This allows the meteorologist to clearing identify where the smoke is and where it is going. Models are improving too. This is called the HRRR model and shows some clearing over the next few days.