Wildfire smoke keeps air quality at harmful levels Sunday

Weather Blog

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – There is cleaner air and blue sky on the way, but it’s going to take a few days before we get there.

Wildfire smoke continues to hug the Willamette Valley and just about all of the West Coast on Sunday. That means the air quality is going to remain in the categories that are harmful. There is an Air Quality Warning in place for everyone the next day. Some counties carrying that warning over into Monday. That does include Multnomah and Clark counties.

If you can limit your time outside, that is exactly what you should try to do.

Where the wildfire smoke has been the thickest and will likely be the worse than others is going to be under a Dense Smoke Advisory. Counties west of the Cascades until 6 PM today and those to the east until Monday at noon. When that expires, there may still be an air quality warning as we mentioned above. Keep that in mind that this may change and to make sure you’re looking for that updates on Sunday night and Monday.

Fire conditions have been improving since Friday and now we are even one day closer to additional moisture and an onshore flow taking over. This is step one before we can really start to get the air quality conditions under control. As the wind moves in from the west, it will usher the smoke out of the valley and it should also bring in more moisture. Those two parameters will help with our air quality. The rain should help with the particulates and it should ultimately help out with the smoke.

Speaking of the timing of this rain, it is likely to arrive late Monday into Tuesday. We could use this rain because it is extremely dry and we can use this rain to help with the wildfires. This should limit additional fire movement with that moisture and should prevent more smoke. Heaviest of the rain for the Oregon coast and we hope for that moisture to carry over into the valley.

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