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Smoke finally expected to blow away on Friday

Haze blocks the sun at the Foss Waterway near the 11th Street bridge in Tacoma. (Photo by Ed Marceau)

The smoke from British Columbia wildfires is expected to clear out on Friday afternoon, but could be replaced with thunderstorms in some areas of Washington.

The high pressure system responsible for keeping the smoke from trapped in the region will move east, according to the National Weather Service. The movement will cause air to flow from the south and push away the smoke.

An Air Quality Alert for Western Washington expired at noon Friday. Clouds are expected to roll in late Friday and Saturday, along with a chance of thunderstorms in areas of Central and Eastern Washington.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Muhulski says cooler temperatures are on the way for the Puget Sound region.

“We’ve got maybe about a 60 percent chance of seeing some measurable rain, including Seattle. Maybe a 20 to 40 percent chance as we move into Sunday with this system coming in,” he said.

Measurable rain would end the record-breaking stretch of dry weather.

In his blog, Cliff Mass, University of Washington climatologist, says that the smoke particles cooled Sea-Tac by 10 degrees on two days at 5 p.m. The smoke cooled Bellingham off 12-14 degrees.

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