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Oregon State Smoke Forecast for Sept. 2-4, 2017.

Issued:  Sept. 1, 2017

Forecaster.  R. Graw, USDA Forest Service
Saturday - September 2, 2017

Very hot and dry weather is expected as a thermal ridge moves into the state. This will continue to dry out fuels and cause increase fire activity with the associated instability, thus causing more smoke.  East winds will occur in western Oregon bringing smoke from the Cascades all the way to the coast, as illustrated in Figure 1 below. The entire Willamette Valley will see some smoke, with the heaviest concentrations in the southern portion of the Valley. However, Central and Eastern Oregon will be relatively smoke free except for some possible light smoke or haze moving in from Idaho and Washington. Klamath Falls may get some light smoke as well from the Jade Creek fire near Lakeview.

Figure 1.  Model-predicted 24-hour average smoke concentrations for Saturday Sept. 2, 2017

Football Forecast: Saturday afternoon, September 2, 2017

OSU vs PSU:  Reeser Stadium, Corvallis - kick off at 11 am

Figure 2 illustrates the model-predicted smoke concentrations between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow.  Note, the model is likely under predicting  the amount of smoke likely to occur because it uses yesterday’s smoke emissions and assumes these will persist through the forecast period, whereas fire activity is expected to increase today and tomorrow compared to yesterday. Nonetheless, the overall spatial pattern is and relative amount of smoke is still valid. Thus, smoke will likely be present in moderate to unhealthy concentrations in Corvallis tomorrow during the football game. 

Figure 2.  Model-predicted three-hour average smoke concentration from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday Sept. 2, 2017

OU vs S. Utah:  Autzen Stadium, Eugene - kick off at 5:15 pm: 

Air quality should improve for the University of Oregon game, as illustrated in Figure 3 below.  Much of the smoke in the Willamette Valley is expected to disperse yielding clearer air for the Ducks game.

Figure 3.  Model-Predicted Smoke Concentrations for the 3-Hour Period ending at 8 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 2.

Sunday - September 3, 2017

Smoke will begin to lift and move eastward on Sunday. This will help clear out any remaining smoke on the Coast in the Willamette Valley. Brookings and Gold Beach will get some relief from the smoke in the afternoon, but not to area from Roseburg south to the Rogue Valley as the Miller Complex and Chetco Bar and Horse Prairie fires will continue to cause air quality issues for these areas. The winds will push the smoke into Central Oregon impacting Sisters, Bend, Klamath Falls, and surrounding communities. Eastern Oregon will likely see some haze caused by the fires in the Cascades and some light smoke at the surface as afternoon mixing brings this smoke down to the surface. Figure 4 illustrates the overall pattern and relative concentrations of smoke for Sunday. However, the concentrations are likely underestimated for reasons previously discussed in this forecast.

Figure 4.   Model-Predicted 24-Hour Smoke Concentrations for Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017

Monday - September 4, 2017

A ridge of high pressure will remain over the state on Monday, as hot temperatures continue over the holiday weekend. For the western portion of the state, winds will be out of the north all day, bringing good air quality over the coast and Willamette Valley throughout the day. The areas from Eugene south to the Roseburg, will experience winds which will begin from the northeast but shift to the northwest throughout the day. Thus, any smoke that may begin in this areas should move out throughout the day. The Siskiyou Mountains will also experience a wind shift from an east wind in the morning to a west wind in the afternoon and evening. Because the area is surrounded by fires on all sides, it is expected to remain smoky throughout the day. Central and Eastern Oregon are likely to get a break from the smoke on Monday as east winds are expected all day.

Please refer to the Air Resource Advisor Reports on this blog for more detailed forecasts associated with individual fires.  

Disclaimer: Weather and fire activity can change quickly.  Please check back for updates to these forecasts as conditions change. If you’re traveling out of Oregon, many other states also have smoke blogs, including California, Washington and Idaho. So please consider those resources to help you plan your travels.