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Bad Air News: Alert Extended Through Friday for Oregon, the Coast, Portland

Published 08/08/2017 at 7:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Bad Air News: Alert Extended Through Friday for Oregon, the Coast, Portland

(Oregon Coast) – That nasty, Mars-like red haze from forest fires around the Pacific Northwest and Canada is not going anywhere soon. Expected to disappear by earlier today, the weather pundits say it's sticking around at least through part of the weekend.

The air quality alert has just been extended for all of northwest Oregon, stretching now through Friday, when it's set to expire at noon. The alert was issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Southwest Clean Air Agency, and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

This includes the Oregon coast, which has not been too bad in recent days because of clouds. The Portland area and much of the inland region has been showing an air quality index of between 100 and 150 today (Tuesday), which is considered not healthy for sensitive groups.

It's a set of numbers that is also worse than Beijing, China, and Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service's (NWS) Portland office passed on the latest alert earlier today.

“Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecasted conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels due to smoke and ozone through midday Friday, August 11,” the NWS said.

NWS meteorologist Colby Neuman told Oregon Coast Beach Connection Tuesday that the smoky haze will go up and down over the next few days, getting worse during mid day, but it's possible it will get better at night (as it did Monday night). It's not expected to really start clearing out until Friday afternoon when the air quality alert ends.

However, Neuman said the NWS forecasts show the pollutants should be gone by Sunday if not on Saturday.

Luckily, the coast has been cloudy and foggy, which has decreased the pollution problems quite a bit in that area. He said it's possible things could worsen a little when the sun begins to pop back out on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, however, as this weather pattern will stick around until Friday.

“The coast has been primarily socked in by clouds, and those water droplets pick up the particulate matter, and then the winds bring them into the hills and the trees and so on,” Neuman said. “The clouds clean the air to some degree by catching the particulates.”

Westerly winds will start arriving on Friday, which will begin pushing the air to the east – affecting the Oregon coast and the inland areas such as Portland, Salem, Silverton and the Cascade foothills.

Meanwhile, it's likely the afternoons will continue to have the worst air quality in the Portland area. Neuman said as the day begins warming the air quality deteriorates.

Much of the pollution sits aloft at 4,000 feet to 6,000 feet.

“As the afternoon is heating up, it mixes the air down and pulls the smoke down towards the ground,” Neuman said.

The forecast for the beach towns shows temps in the mid 60s over the next few days with a slight chance of showers on the weekends. Things will be partly to mostly sunny over those days. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

The Portland area forecast is showing around 90 degrees through Thursday and patchy smoke, with temps lessening down to the mid or upper 80s – and a slight chance of rain over the weekend. More Oregon Coast Weather








 

 

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