Smoke May Blow Out of Missoula Thursday, But Will Likely Be Back in Full Force
Some wind will help clear the air in Missoula Thursday, but Department of Environmental Quality Air quality Meteorologist Kristen Martin isn’t very optimistic about the smoke in Missoula.
"We do have a cold front coming through Thursday, so we should see, hopefully, some improvement from west to east during the day. As those winds pick up and we get some possible thunderstorms coming through we should see some brief improvement, although, of course, with cold fronts and erratic winds we also see increased fire activity, so I'm not too hopeful that the improvement will last too long."
Martin says the same system has triggered red flag warnings east of Missoula and that the winds and possible thunderstorms could start some new fires. The prognosis after the cold front, is more of the same.
"Unfortunately, it looks like we may see some breezy conditions once the cold front passes through Thursday, and maybe on Friday a little bit, but then we have another big ridge of high pressure coming in over the weekend and at least until early next week, which will, again, trap a lot of smoke here in the valleys," Martin said.
The smoke has been notoriously bad in western Montana, especially in Missoula County where Hazardous and unhealthy air has become a part of daily life for many.
The smoke is coming from the nearby fires, but also from states to the west of Montana.