SMOKE: Air Quality Alert extended again; cancellations continue

(Wednesday photo by Suzanne Murray)

Dare we hope that this will be the final extension? The National Weather Service, in consultation with other regional agencies, has extended the Air Quality Alert, this time until 10 am Saturday. Some cancellations/closures continue – city parks are still closed today, Seattle Public Library curbside service is canceled today, and the twice-weekly BLM sign-waving at 16th/Holden is canceled again today too, per organizer Scott.

17 Replies to "SMOKE: Air Quality Alert extended again; cancellations continue"

  • Dan September 17, 2020 (2:08 pm)

    At Alki, seeing some good wind at 2pm and some relative clearing over the last few hours.  I can see Blake Island and Bainbridge the first time in nearly a week (visibility is around 6 miles). Fingers crossed this keeps up.

    I put my particle meter outside and got a reading of 10,000 (PPM, small particles under 0.5 micrometers). The last few days the reading was anywhere from 25k, 40k and more.(For context, the meter says anything over 3k is very poor air, 1500 and over is poor, over 300 is fair and under 300 is good. Seattle air is typically around 500-900 (during the peak of lockdown we actually managed to get to 250)). So, at 10k the air is still really bad, but improving quite a bit.

    • WSB September 17, 2020 (2:12 pm)

      Thanks for the update! We have a sliver view of Vashon through trees and that island also is faintly in view right now.

    • Catherine September 17, 2020 (2:47 pm)

      This is great info, thanks!  Wind chimes and tree branches are also moving for the first time in a while.  Wind feels marvelous after the doldrums, though predictions are for smoke to continue until the weekend.  (BTW, is a particle meter very expensive?  Can you recommend a brand/model?)

      • Dan September 17, 2020 (5:32 pm)

        I’ve a DC1100 PRO AIR QUALITY MONITOR, runs $260, kinda pricey but I do like it. I don’t have experience with any other meters. I typically run it inside to know when to kick the air filters on higher and to know that the air filtering is being effective.

        • Catherine September 18, 2020 (2:05 pm)


    • Sunflower September 17, 2020 (3:46 pm)

      Thanks for sharing this! Haven’t seen any wind yet here, but now my hopeful eyes are glued to the trees outside. 

      …Wait, there it is, I see a little tree branch movement!

      I can’t wait to see the birds, and people alike, rejoicing, once clearer air returns.

  • mark47n September 17, 2020 (2:32 pm)

    I saw what I believe was Mars (no twinkle and was reddish) at 0520 this morning. More than I’ve seen in some time.

  • Bandana September 17, 2020 (2:43 pm)

    According to the State Department of Ecology Air Quality Monitoring website, South Park has an air quality index of 159, which is Unhealthy. If the AQI drops below 150, it is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

  • James Riley September 17, 2020 (2:50 pm)

    Elliott Bay this morning near Salty’s.

    • Kadoo September 17, 2020 (5:24 pm)

      Gorgeous photo!

  • Trickycoolj September 17, 2020 (5:24 pm)

    I’ve been using with their PM2.5 layer and they’ve been really accurate, including predicting Monday/Tuesday’s no show on Sunday.  It’s looking promising tomorrow late morning/early afternoon and nothing but goodness from there on out.

    • MercyMoi September 17, 2020 (7:29 pm)

      Thanks, Trickycoolj, for the tip on I downloaded the app and I’m digging the video play of the forecast maps. It does look like things will get better tomorrow and clear up Saturday.

  • Hank September 17, 2020 (7:04 pm)

    Is it safe yet to open our windows?

    • Kate September 17, 2020 (7:21 pm)

      Hi Hank-I wouldn’t keep the windows open right now. Check out That’s been a pretty good resource, along with Cliff Mass’ weather blog. Stay safe out there.

  • Dan September 18, 2020 (11:34 am)

    Near Alki, particle meter this morning is reading 22500  (small particle count, 0.5-2.5 microns, PPM). Visibility is about 4 miles.

    For context, the scale on the meter says for small particles:

    0-150 = excellent

    150-300 = good

    300-1500 = fair


    3000+ = very poor

    Typical around Alki is around 500-900

    • Dan September 18, 2020 (2:13 pm)

      Slowly improving with the rain, we’re now at 16700

      • Dan September 18, 2020 (4:17 pm)

        Last update of the day here, holding at 16000s.

        Best in the last 2 hours was at 14000, worst was at 19000. I think it goes to show how localized smoke pollution can be.

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