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Air quality history graph reported at 10am by NW Clean Air Agency monitoring station on Loomis Trail Road in Custer (August 14, 2018).

Air quality update – it’s gotten worse before getting better

The good news is National Weather Service (NWS) Seattle office forecasters still say to expect an air-cleansing change in the weather within the short-term forecast. The bad news, conditions have worsen this morning to the point where air quality is bad for everyone.

NWS forecasters observed, “most of western Washington woke up to hazy skies this morning as wildfire smoke continues to infiltrate the local area.”

Northwest Clean Air Agency’s air monitoring station on Loomis Trail Road in Custer crossed from the “UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS” zone to the “UNHEALTHY (for everyone)” zone this morning (see graphic above).

Officials from the Washington Department of Health and Department of Ecology advise everyone, especially sensitive groups, to limit time spent outdoors, avoid strenuous activities outdoors and choose light indoor activities while air quality remains in the “UNHEALTHY” zone.

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But, as was reported yesterday, NWS forecasters still expect a change in the weather that will start flushing out the lower-level smoke later today.

But smoke is expected to remain in the higher atmosphere through Wednesday continuing the dramatically red sunrises and sunsets.

MODIS Today website image 2018-08-13
Wildfire smoke from British Columbia and eastern Washington fires can be seen filling in Puget Sound lowlands in this MODIS satellite photo taken about 2pm on August 13, 2018. Source: MODIS Today website

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