Get your last inhales of cool, crisp, breathable air this afternoon — because smokey horizons and worsening air conditions are likely to be over our heads again later this evening.
Well, it was good and fun (and healthy) while it lasted.
As ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco reports, the Bay Area could as early as tonight find itself veiled in smokey opaqueness again... one that's likely to only get thicker by the hour.
Near Surface Smoke Forecast for Saturday and Saturday night: Smoke from the #AugustComplexFire will spread across the #BayArea today, but near surface smoke concentrations will remain mostly light. Smoke will then begin to increase in the #NorthBay by late tonight. #CAwx #CAFires pic.twitter.com/XRaoQ1Dp5P— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 19, 2020
"Waking up Saturday morning, the winds are shifting, coming out of the north and bringing the North Complex and the August Fire Complex smoke," says Nicco. "About half of us will be covered by Saturday evening in haze and it just keeps getting thicker as we head through Sunday."
The smoke is said to drift toward us via a northerly periodic wind system, which will in turn film the atmosphere around the Bay Area, beginning in parts of North Bay and working its way across the rest of the Bay Area. (A National Weather Service smoke model also shows this to be true.) However, Nicco admits that South Bay might be spared from the poor air quality — or, at the very least, able to avoid the worst of it.
"By Saturday evening, it should be covering just about everywhere but the South Bay," adds Nicco.
But as we're seeing now, most of the Bay Area is now contending with "yellow" and "orange" air quality readings, per PurpleAir; swaths of SF still appear to be in the "green," however. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has also issued a Spare the Alert for today due to poor air quality in the inland East Bay and North Bay.
How bad the air will be depends on where the smoke inevitably decides to settle in the clouds.
"There will be smoke in the middle parts of the atmosphere," explains Nicco, noting that we're not in for another Blade Runner-like cityscape nor a repeat of last week's now-historically terrible air quality. "The key will be how much will work into the lower layer."
Thankfully, clearer skies and cooler weather are slated to come our way again come Monday — so you'll only have to snuggle your air purifiers for just a few more days.
Image: Screenshot via purpleair.com