WeatherWatcher: Red Flag Warning and Air Quality Alert

Friday, September 9, 2022


Edmount Island wildfire July 2009
Photo by Carl Dinse

Red Flag Warning in effect until Midnight Saturday night.

Air Quality Alert in effect until 6pm Sunday.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service in Seattle. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either imminent or occurring now. Any fires that develop will likely spread quickly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

Winds are northeast 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Relative humidity is low; some places may get as low as 20% or less. Temperatures are in the lower 70's, we could reach temperatures into the 80's on Saturday.

Air Quality:

The brown plumes streaking westward from the Cascade mountain range is wildfire smoke.
Satellite image from the National Weather Service on Friday September 9, 2022.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Northwest Clean Air Agency have issued a joint air quality alert in effect from 6am Saturday to 6pm Sunday. The air quality is expected to become unhealthy for sensitive groups. All sensitive groups should limit spending any time outdoors. People with health conditions may have worsened symptoms. Healthy people may start to have symptoms.

Wildfire smoke can cause burning eyes, sore throat, headache, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and worsening of heart and lung conditions. 

Forecast: Hazy sunny skies through the weekend, with highs near 80°F both Saturday and Sunday with lows in the upper 50's. On-shore winds pick up Sunday afternoon and evening, which should begin to cool temperatures down and start pushing the wildfire smoke back into the mountains.

Monday a weak weather system is expected to bring a slight chance of showers with some clouds in the morning, clearing to mostly sunny skies in the afternoon and evening. Tuesday through next weekend should be pleasant, with sunny skies and highs in the low to mid 70's all week. Lows in the mid 50's all week. A slight chance of showers might return at the end of the work week.

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