Air quality in the Puget Sound region has seen “modest improvements” over the last day, but still remains in the “very unhealthy” category.
According to the National Weather Service, a “dose of light rain” Tuesday night slightly improved air quality. Even so, more smoke “is expected to move up from the south into the area” on Wednesday.
“Do not expect much of an improvement in air quality today,” the NWS said in its latest forecast.
Wed AM: Air quality throughout @KingCountyWA @KitsapWA @PierceCo @SnoCounty is UNHEALTHY for everyone. Modest improvements over the last 12-18 hrs brought some areas down from VERY UNHEALTHY category, but not enough to change our recommendations. More: https://t.co/VhUWCQmcbu pic.twitter.com/YE7YJp2ozx
— PS Clean Air Agency (@pscleanair) September 16, 2020
Air quality is typically measured on a scale of to 500. Between 51 and 100 is considered “moderate,” 101 to 150 is “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” 151 to 200 is “unhealthy,” 201 to 300 is “very unhealthy,” and 301 to 500 is considered “hazardous.”
As of Wednesday morning, air quality from Bellingham to Olympia ranges between 220 to 270, settling around 250 in most parts of Seattle. While that represents a small improvement over Tuesday’s conditions, air quality still resides firmly in the “very unhealthy” category. You can monitor ongoing air quality through the Washington Department of Ecology’s interactive map here.
An air quality warning for Western Washington extends through 12 p.m. Thursday. In Eastern Washington, the air quality warning runs through 12 p.m. Friday.
Seattle parks, beaches, and boat ramps will remain closed at least through Wednesday