Smoke to linger over SF Bay Area longer than originally forecast

Forecast models run by the National The weather Services showed Friday afternoon that smoke came from several California wildfires burns in the northwest corner of the state, including the McFarland Fire, Monument and River Complex, will linger on the San Francisco Bay Area on Labor Day weekend.

While the impact of the smoke is not expected to be extreme, previous models running on Thursday showed the smoke is likely to clear up over the weekend.

“We don’t see enough of a push on the ground to completely clear out everything,” weather service meteorologist Roger Gass said of an incoming sea breeze that won’t be strong enough to clear the smoke.

The District’s Bay Area Quality Management extends an advisory air quality in effect Friday through Monday.

An advisory air quality is less severe than an air supply alert, which signals unhealthy air quality levels and prohibits wood burning.

Monday’s air quality conditions are generally expected to range from “moderate” on the air quality index, which operates on a scale of 0 to 500. “Moderate” air quality falls between 51 and 100, while “unhealthy for sensitive groups” is in the range 101 to 150, and “unhealthy” 151 to 200.

Friday, air quality across the region was mostly “moderate,” with some “good” spots.

“We don’t see a significant amount at this point,” Gass said. “Earlier in the day it looked like some were trapped in the atmosphere. There’s still a haze around. I would say we’re seeing some smoke at about 4,000 to 5,000 feet lingering over the region.”

Saturday afternoon, smoke conditions are expected to improve with a slight ocean breeze picking up. More smoke is likely to push through the area on Sunday and Monday.

When the soot will be mostly higher in the atmosphere, and while the sky may be cloudy, air quality levels are not expected to reach unhealthy levels and exceed federal health standards for long periods of time.

This forecast could also change as the movement of fire fumes is difficult to forecast and the slightest wind can move a mass of soot air from one place to another in a few minutes.

The smoke will be delayed as the region is expected to warm, due to high building pressure on southeastern California.

In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the hottest days are to be Sunday and Monday, with inland locations with higher elevations in the 90s and the warmer interior spots reaching 102 to 108.

Eastern parts of Napa County and the far East Bay could reach the low 100s, said Eleanor Dhuyvetter, a meteorologist with weather services.

Coastal areas are projected to remain cooler and plan between the upper 60s to mid 70s.

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