No relief in sight: Weather officials say postapocalyptic smoke will continue

From the DNews

The dense smoke that has engulfed the Palouse and created a “seemingly post-apocalyptic condition” is expected to continue over the next week, according to a news release from Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet service.

The conditions are due to a strong ridge of high air pressure that is acting like a lid over the entire inland Northwest, and the “hot, smoky, and seemingly post-apocalyptic conditions are expected to continue for much of Washington,” meteorologist Nic Loyd wrote in the release.

Residents of the Palouse may get some relief on Saturday, but by Wednesday temperatures will rise again. Loyd said there will not be any significant relief from the heat and smoke for at least seven to 10 days.


“This is the wrong pattern for this time of year,” Loyd said.

Mark Turner, an employee of the National Weather Service in Spokane, also said the outlook for the area is a hot and smoky one.

“It’s pretty much the same story every day,” said Turner, adding that daytime temperatures will reach the mid 90s and night time lows will drop to the mid 50s.

Turner also said if it weren’t for the obscuring smoke, there would be clear skies.

The main sources for the smoke are several large fires in the British Columbia area as well as one large fire north of the Wenatchee National Forest, Turner said.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing in the forecast that is going to knock the high pressure out to clear the smoke,” he said.

On a positive note, the Washington State Patrol announced the fire in Malden, which threatened homes and families earlier this week, was 100 percent contained Friday.

The University of Idaho has also sent out a Vandal Alert about the poor air quality to students and faculty who have started to trickle back into Moscow. The alert warned those who are particularly sensitive to limit any prolonged or heavy exertions while outside.

Loyd said that possibly by next weekend the ridge of atmospheric pressure that has trapped the smoke over the Palouse may start to break down and provide some relief. Loyd said a nice wind coming from the Pacific Ocean would help push the smoke out of the area.