Will there be wildfire smoke this weekend in the SF Bay Area?


Skies were clouded through much of the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday morning as dry winds from the north developed and pushed smoke from wildfires in Northern California into the region, the National Weather Service said.

Smoking conditions are expected through Sunday, Anna Schneider, a meteorologist with the weather service said.

The Bay Area Quality Management District issued an air quality warning for Friday and Saturday, warning that “lofted smoke is expected to cause rainy skies.” An advisory air quality is less severe than an air supply alert, which signals unhealthy air quality levels and prohibits wood burning.

Aaron Richardson, a spokesman with the district, said: “We are not calling an Air Reserve event because we do not expect it to impact us at ground level where we will breathe unhealthy air for the entire day.” “But there will be visible haze as the smoke passes over us. Some of it can float down to ground level, especially at higher elevations. There’s potential for short-term spikes in unhealthy air.”

Air quality requirements must range from the low end of “moderate” to the high end of “moderate” on the air quality index, which operates on a scale from 0 to 500. “Moderate” air quality falls between 51 and 100 on scale there, while “unhealthy for sensitive groups” is in the range 101 to 150 and “unhealthy” 151 to 200.

Richardson noted that this forecast is still subject to change as fire fumes are difficult to forecast and a light wind can push a mass of soot air from one place to another in a few minutes.

The smoke reached North Bay first Friday morning and spread gradually to East Bay and the Central Bay area.

“Near surface smoke will increase in the afternoon,” said Schneider, noting that conditions will worsen through the day with very little sea breeze expected.


The sea wind pattern, with winds blowing north and northeast, is expected to continue through Sunday.

Schneider said a light ocean breeze will likely kick off Saturday and Sunday afternoons, clearing some smoke along immediate coastal areas like San Francisco.

The winds are forecast to change Monday on the ground, clearing the soot air.

The smoke is expected to occur as a Northern California flu heat event, and the weather service said there may be enough smoke “to take a few degrees off of o forecasts.” The interior funds are forecast to reach the mid-90s to the low 100s Friday and Saturday, and the coastal areas to the low 70s. Temperatures are expected to cool back to near normal early next week as a depression of low pressure lies along the coast and a return of winds on land, the weather service said.

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