Seattle’s heat wave, wildfire haze could linger into next week, weather service says

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia has blanketed Washington state, and it looks like it won’t be clearing out anytime soon, according to forecasts.

The haze from Canada’s nearly two dozen active wildfires is hanging around Washington state, doing its thing: acting like a blanket between the Earth and the sun, keeping it a bit cooler during the day and a bit warmer during the night.

But it’s also worsening our air quality to unhealthy levels.

“The smoke has a two-fold effect (on the weather),” said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Seattle. “It holds the daytime temperature down like a cloud and holds the overnight lows up.”

That means Thursday’s high is expected to reach 95 degrees instead of 99 to 100, as has been predicted for most of the week. Even at the revised temperature, we will break a heat record for the date, according to Guy. The record for Aug. 3 is 90 degrees, set in 1988, he said.

Wednesday’s overnight low was 68 degrees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which also set a record as the highest overnight low for the date, previously set at 63 degrees.

Guy said the haze is expected to remain over Western Washington through the weekend and possibly into next week.

Guy also said that daytime temperatures are expected to come down slightly, but not dramatically, over the next few days.

“It looks like it will be around 90 degrees on Friday and 85 to 90 degrees through the weekend,” he said.

“We will get a little onshore flow from the West as we get into Saturday, but it will be fairly weak and the haze will be with us for a while,” Guy said. “Today and tomorrow will be very smokey, with 3 to 5 miles of visibility.”

Guy would not speculate on whether the haze would ground the Blue Angels from their scheduled practices and shows, but said it was affecting flights in and out of Sea-Tac Airport.

The state Department of Ecology has listed the air quality over some parts of Western Washington as unhealthy. Experts advise people with asthma or other lung conditions to stay…

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