Monday, September 4, 2017

Apocalypse Tomorrow

Smoke has been lingering around the Salt Lake Valley the past couple of days and, if forecast hold, is about to get much worse.

This afternoon's GOES-16 is quite remarkable and shows a thick blanket of smoke across much of the Pacific Northwest streaming off over the high plains.  The smoke here in the Salt Lake Valley is barely discernible, whereas its a thick blanket to our north.

Forecasts from the experimental HRRR-smoke model suggest we're going to see some of that thick smoke here tomorrow.  The forecast for 2 PM this afternoon (2100 UTC) shows vertically integrated smoke concentrations of around 15 mg/m2 over northern Utah, but much higher values to the north.

Concentrations roughly double by tomorrow.  The analysis below shows the situation at 6 PM (0000 UTC).

This should make tomorrow seem even more apocalyptic.

Keep in mind that ozone levels have been in the unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy range the past few afternoon (lower graph below for Hawthorne Elementary in the Salt Lake Valley).  PM2.5 has been a bit elevated because of the smoke, but on the low side of moderate (top graph).

I suspect tomorrow we'll see PM2.5 concentrations rising some and another round of unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy ozone.

I think I speak for everyone when I say I wish summer was OVER!

1 comment:

  1. In Teton NP and the smoke is horrible. If you get what we have today it sucks. We can barely see the mountains from Highway 191