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Weekend Air Quality Forecast for Oregon

Current Conditions
The weather model below depicts winds and vorticity at about 20,000 feet above the surface atf 5 a.m. Friday. The ridge off Western Oregon has pushed smoke from the British Columbia fires into Oregon resulting in much of the haze over large parts of the state.

The GOES-16 Satellite figure below is from 10:45 a.m. The smoke – coming in from the British Vancouver fires -- in the Willamette Valley and over much of Central and Eastern Oregon appears as light gray. You can also see moisture moving into Southern Oregon shown by the high-level clouds, which are slightly brighter, as well as moisture off the coast.  

Air Quality across the state is shown in the figure below as of 11 a.m. Much of the Northern and Western portions of the Willamette Valley, Shady Cove, and the central cascades are experiencing unhealthy air quality (red dots). Air quality remains unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange dots) in the southern Willamette Valley, Eugene, The Dalles and Madras. Most of Oregon is experiencing moderate air quality (yellow dots), with a few locations along the southwest coast (Brookings and Agnes) showing good air quality (green dots).

Air Quality Forecast Today
Ozone levels are expected to decrease some today as depicted by the National Weather Service air quality forecast model. Redmond is forecast to be the hot spot today as shown below. 

Smoke from the large fires within the state will blow west toward Central Oregon. Klamath Falls and Lakeview are expected to be most affected by the smoke, primarily from the Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake fires. The figure below illustrates the daily average smoke as predicted by the Blue Sky smoke model.  Note, areas near the Whitewater fire in the central Cascades such as Detroit and the Warm Springs Reservation will continue to be impacted by the smoke. In Southwestern Oregon, communities southwest of the Chetco Bar fire will be impacted. Detailed forecasts for areas near these fires are posted on this blog.

Air Quality Forecast for Saturday
Air quality should greatly improve for much of the state, and we should contend only with smoke from fires within the state, and Northern California. 
By Saturday morning the ridge of high pressure begins to break down, as shown in the figure below, bringing more westerly flow into the region, and helping clear smoke from the Willamette Valley. 

The smoke from the Canadian fires will clear out of much of the state by tomorrow, and ozone levels will remain lower than they have been in the past few days.
The figure below shows the daily average smoke expected for Saturday. Areas west of the fires in the Cascades are expected to be most impacted. Some light smoke is expected throughout much of Eastern Oregon with a few grass fires continuing. However, smoke can be much worse during a given hour, and the areas around Detroit, Breitenbush, Mt. Jefferson, the Meteolius Basin, Lake Billy Chinook, Madras, the Warm Springs Reservation and Crater Lake National Park are expected to be the most impacted.

Air Quality Forecast for Sunday 
Smoke will continue to diminish air quality south of the fires Sunday, as shown below.  This southerly flow may bring smoke back down into the state from the fires to the north on Sunday, but probably not to the extent we’ve seen this past week.  Additionally, a weak low-pressure system off the Southern Oregon Coast is likely to bring a chance of dry lightning into southwestern parts of the state increasing in the number of fire starts.