Smoke drops air quality as wind calms
Smoke settled into the Anchorage bowl early Friday, dropping air quality to unhealthy levels. The little wind out of the east Thursday pushed smoke from the Swan Lake fire back into the atmosphere. As the storm moved out, the wind calmed allowing the smoke to settle.
The smoke will linger in the Anchorage bowl through much of Friday with little wind in the forecast. Light winds out of the north will slowly clear things out, but air quality will likely remain unhealthy through the middle of the day.
As air quality improves clouds will build. Smoke in the atmosphere can act as what we call cloud condensation nuclei in the presence of atmospheric moisture. Or basically, smoke helps make clouds.
That bit of science will bring us partly cloudy skies in the afternoon as temperatures climb to the mid-60s this afternoon. By this evening, a few isolated showers will develop around Southcentral. Don't expect much, maybe a few sprinkles here in Anchorage— but not enough to measure.
Saturday looks to remain partly cloudy and dry. Light winds will accompany temperatures climbing back into the mid-60s in the afternoon.
Our next chance of showers arrives Sunday. It's another small one, but at this point, any chance is worth talking about. Clouds and temps in the mid-60s will bring us that chance of light showers before the forecast dries out heading into the workweek.
There is no question, we need the rain. Since June 1st, we are 4.25 inches of rain behind where we should be. That put Anchorage in extreme drought for the first time in history.
The lack of moisture and dry vegetation keeps fire danger very high despite the lack of wind in the forecast.
-Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo