Yuck! Thick Smoke Over Metro Area Today

I mentioned last night that smoke from Washington fires would move in on east wind today but this is the thickest I’ve ever seen in the metro area.  It’s nothing new this time of the year in other parts of the Northwest; but it just happened to be directed right at us today instead of east of the mountains.  This is normal at times in Bend and other eastside cities in late summer.  This is what it looked like at midday overhead:


Overnight and tomorrow the smoke will thin some, but it’ll still be hazy like we’ve seen a few times over the past several weeks.  Then a westerly wind will push just about all the smoke out of here starting about 24 hours from now.  By tomorrow evening skies should be much improved.

 Air quality was just about the worst I have seen in the metro area in summer too; you can see the sudden increase in pollutants after 11am:


This is the first time I’ve busted a forecast because of smoke…we didn’t get hot weather today because too much sunlight was blocked.  Only reaching the mid-upper 80s.  Less smoke tomorrow should mean warmer temps.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

26 Responses to Yuck! Thick Smoke Over Metro Area Today

  1. schmit44 says:

    8/23/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:95 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft) & EW3865 John Day(3068 ft) & Grant County Reg(3697 ft) & DW5789 Eagle Poi(1463 ft)
    Low: 66 at Rooster Rock(30 ft) & CW8242 Ashland(3451 ft) & DW4118 Sandy(1250 ft)

    High:54 at DW8761 Gleneden(72 ft)
    Low: 24 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 64 degrees
    CROW FLAT (88/24 ) (5172 ft )

  2. Jake-(Gresham) says:

    Man this poor air quality is making me fatigued; that’s saying a lot considering I’m 25 years of age. I really do appreciate good air quality now. I’m the type of guy that really enjoys summer but this one needs some rain, bad.

  3. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I think the difference with this upcoming pattern later in the week is that one ULL drops down immediately followed by another one. So the newer one ejects the other one out into the NW. Let’s hope it holds to that though.

    Previously it’s been one ULL coming down but further and further off of the coast so it just pumped warm air up ahead of it.

  4. MasterNate says:

    Its getting closer to fruition. Less than 10 days out for some precipitation. No more heat in sight either.

  5. Jason Hougak says:

    Mark what happened in the 1997-98 super El Niño. I was in high school and cannot remember how that winter was. All I remember was the epic winter of 1998-1999. Can you put some info to compare how this El Niño is shaping up. It’s looking as close or even stronger. There are so many variables with the Pacific Blob, Polar Vortex, Ect. Nail biter of an up coming winter for sure.

  6. lmh says:

    Is anyone getting a headache from this smoke? I had one yesterday and it went away in the evening, now its back. I suppose it is from my eye being irritated. I have lived in the NW for over sixty years. I have never seen it this bad before. My mom grew up in Woodburn. She said it was like this all summer in 1936. Ashes also fell out of the sky.

  7. Glad to NOT see that smoke here. We had our share of that stuff back in early July for about a week.

  8. Jason Hougak says:

    Where will Typhoon Atsani go as it spins North and drifts West diminishing in strength. Will it help disturb the blob? Will it bring us substantial rainfall. Only the future will tell.

  9. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Air Quality is Worse In Portland, Oregon Than In Beijing


  10. David B. says:

    By reducing the amount of solar radiation that reached the surface the smoke held down the high to 75 here yesterday.

  11. Sapo says:

    Ya..got back from a three week trip to Brasil yesterday and I was welcomed by thick smoke and a really bad smoke smell..seems like it’s clearing off a bit more today though, good to hear it’ll be gone soon.

  12. Ryan says:

    What’s the latest for next weekend (8/29 & 8/30). I still see the nws, weather.com and other sites forecasting showers on both days. Although we’re still 7 days away, do you think the RRR will block any weather systems from moving in?

  13. schmit44 says:

    8/22/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:98 at CW3932 Central P(1290 ft) & DW5789 Eagle Poi(1463 ft)
    Low: 63 at Rye Valley(I-84(2229 ft) & JUNIPR(359 ft)

    High:55 at MT. HOWARD(7910 ft)
    Low: 21 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 60 degrees
    KLAMATH NWR (86/26 ) (4531 ft )

    • schmit44 says:

      Check out these diurnal changes and the very cold lows this morning in the high desert of central-eastern Oregon

    • Jason Hougak says:

      It’s a great sign we are on our way toward winter. We do NOT need another fake one though. If this turns out as another warm mild dry winter then be sure next summer will be dangerous if it’s as hot and dry as this. Hopefully Winter 16-17 will be a strong La Niña that will bring copious amounts of snowfall.

    • PurpleHaze says:

      Or if our bad luck holds out our next strong La Nina will be cold and dry with a lot of freezing fog after we do get rain systems that make our snow pack right at normal.

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