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Wildfire smoke can be seen in the Puget Sound lowlands in this MODIS satellite photo taken about 2pm on August 16, 2018. Source: MODIS Today website

Forecasters: Air quality is expected worsen again early next week

National Weather Service Seattle office forecasters issued a special statement today forewarning of drop in air quality beginning Sunday, August 19th.

Low level smoke is likely to return to the western Washington region beginning Sunday creating the potential for air quality deteriorating to unhealthy levels Monday and Tuesday according to the special statement.

Smoke from British Columbia fires is likely to spread south into western Washington as a surface flow pattern is expected to turn offshore and northerly on Sunday. Northern areas will be affected first, including Whatcom County lowlands.

Warm weather will accompany the offshore flow bringing high temperatures on Monday and Tuesday in the 80s to low 90s.

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A marine push forecast for Tuesday night or Wednesday could cool things off and also push most of the smoke out of the area.

Air quality has improved over recent days since worsening to the point of being in the “UNHEALTHY (for all)” range. But air quality has only reached the “MODERATE” range,  not the “GOOD” range that is typical.

loomis trail rd air monitoring station data graphic 2018-08-17 1200
Air quality history graph reported at 12pm by NW Clean Air Agency monitoring station on Loomis Trail Road in Custer (August 17, 2018).

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