Air quality alert, record heat expected across Puget Sound
Air quality alerts have been issued for western Washington, as haze hangs over the region.
The air quality in the greater Seattle area hit an unhealthy level Thursday due to wildfire smoke.
Meteorologist Dana Felton with the National Weather Service says it will get worse this weekend.
“We don’t have a lot of circulation in the lower levels of the atmosphere right now so there’s really not any mechanism to move smoke out of the air,” Felton said. “Saturday is gonna be a little worse, but finally on Monday a low-level flow will turn west and that will give us some improvement and start pushing smoke out of the atmosphere.”
The alert goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday and lasts until 11:00 a.m. Monday for Pacific, Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Wahkiakum, Clallam, King, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, San Juan, Snohomish, and Thurston counties.
“Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky,” the alert warned.
Any near term improvement in low level smoke around Puget Sound is likely to be short-lived. Offshore winds increase late tonight & Sat. & this will push more wildfire smoke into the region. Be sure to check your local air quality agency website for the latest air quality values. pic.twitter.com/lUTRwAv4FE
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 14, 2022
Felton says that’s something to keep in mind if you’re going to any sporting events in Seattle this weekend.
The weather will also be warmer than usual for this time of year. Highs are expected in the upper-70s Saturday, which could also be record-breaking (the current record is 77 degrees).
Seattle has already tied the record for the most 70-degree days in October this year. With the possibility of reaching 80 degrees Sunday, it would be the latest the region has ever hit the 80-degree mark.
Seattle has reached 70 degrees again today. This makes 8 days at or above 70 this month…which ties the October record previously set in 1991. #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 13, 2022