Weather forecast: Smoke to clear, air quality to improve

Weather Update: 8:00 a.m. (9-8-17)

SPOKANE, Wash. —  The KREM 2 weather team is tracking the smoke to begin clearing out by Saturday and Sunday.

Our StormTracker2 shows smoke slowly starting to clear due to winds shifting overnight.  To further help the improving air quality, the forecast shows passing storms and higher winds Saturday and Sunday.

The visibility map Friday morning shows smoke lingering around the Inland Northwest.  Change should be on the way as there are already improvements in air quality on the West side.

There were reports of rain Friday morning. These small showers are a sign of improvement.  More storms are forecast Friday and Saturday night over the Palouse, Montana and the Cascades.  These passing storms and increasing winds will help mix smoke out. 

The air is anticipated to improve this afternoon with a noticeable difference by sunset.  However, air quality is still considered unhealthy to hazardous across the region Friday morning.  A look at the Saturday air quality index is shown below.  

Along with the passing storms is the potential for lightning that could produce new fires. Lightning is responsible for the majority of regional large fires this summer.  High winds are also in the forecast, meaning existing or new fires could spread quickly.

The projected wind map for Saturday is posted above.  The highest winds for the day are in areas where current fires are burning. 

To wrap it all up, Friday should show smoke slowly clearing and improving. There is a risk air will still be unhealthy for outdoor events leading into the afternoon and night.

For Saturday and Sunday, light haze is possible but air should be much healthier to breathe.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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