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Willamette Valley Smoke Forecast for Wednesday September 6, 2017

Smoke will stick around one more day in the Willamette Valley today.

This morning, winds at the surface will be out of the south, which will continue to transport smoke from the fires in southwest Oregon towards the valley.  By 2 pm, winds will start shifting to a westerly wind, which should bring in some clear air.  However, the wind speed will not be very strong, only 5 mph, which won't be enough to clear out the valley, but it will be enough to cut off the smoke transport from the south.  The figure below, taken from the NOAA High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model shows the smoke pattern over the state for today at 2 pm.   The dark red and purple indicate areas of high concentrations of smoke, whereas the green and yellow indicate areas of lower concentrations of smoke.  The wind barbs indicate wind direction and speed at the surface.

By 5 pm, stronger winds from the west will develop over the coastal range, but winds over the valley will still remain relatively light, but still westerly.  This pattern will continue through the evening.  As such, smoke is not expected to clear out of the Willamette Valley until tomorrow.  

By tomorrow morning at 8 am, the situation is expected to improve dramatically, as illustrated by the figure below, from the same model.

Looking ahead into the rest of the week, good air quality is expected as west winds are expected to continue through Friday, and switching to out of the north by the weekend.