SEATTLE - Smoky/hazy skies continue to dominate our forecast, but change is on the way!
The Northwest is having a very tough time scouring out the smoke, not only because of Washington state fires still burning, but we can't seem to catch a break from our neighbors to the south as well. Fires burning in Oregon and California are not helping our cause. As we saw this weekend smoke from the south pushed out over the Pacific riding north up the coast tracking back inland as our onshore flow increased. Mother nature's usual way of giving us that nice, cooler sea-breeze, but instead we pulled all the bad air back in off the coast. The good news is we will see change this week, which will help clear the air.
Monday a frontal system will drop a few light showers over the area. Unfortunately, the rain will come late into the overnight hours with light showers spreading into Tuesday. Highs will be hindered again because of the smoke, only landing in the upper 60s to low 70s. Normal is now 72 for this time of year. Air quality will remain "unhealthy for sensitive groups". And don't be surprised if we see some patch morning fog in the usual areas.
By Wednesday just a few scattered showers remain along the coast and west of the I-5 corridor. Hazy skies will lift slightly earlier in the day, but by the afternoon smoke will move up from the south (Oregon & California) keeping air quality at "unhealthy "levels, especially for those who already suffer from respiratory issues. Highs will warm a few degrees to near or just above the average.
Finally, by Thursday look for "moderate" air quality values as an upper level low moves onshore! This welcome air mass will deliver more rain and help clear out all the bad air around the area. And by Friday we should be back to "good" levels in the atmosphere. And this kind of air should hang on through the weekend. Highs will only climb into the mid to upper 60s, but I think most of us will take cooler temperatures over poor air. One thing to keep in mind... as this system rolls through it may be a bit unstable and we could see a few thunderstorms over the mountains.
Stay safe and healthy all! Have a great week! ~Erin
- Erin Mayovsky, Q13 Forecaster