Air quality improves across Western Washington

Low clouds moved into Western Washington on Thursday morning, improving air quality after wildfire smoke caused unhealthy air quality over parts of the region.

The unhealthy conditions first appeared in Seattle Wednesday morning, but then spread to a wider area. The worst smoke at the official air quality station closest to downtown Seattle was recorded at 6 a.m.

The conditions were caused by a plume of smoke from the Bolt Creek Fire near Skykomish.

By Thursday, air quality was much improved, with the air quality index at the “good” level for the majority of Western Washington, according to the Washington Smoke blog.

There are still some locations with moderate air quality, such as Everett, Darrington, Carnation and areas of the Cascade foothills. Air quality in Monroe and Sultan, which are closer to the Bolt Creek Fire, is also at the moderate level, but Gold Bar, which is even closer to the fire, has improved from “hazardous” to “unhealthy” by Thursday.

Cooler, fresher ocean air will continue to move in with south wind that will be a little gusty at times. Low clouds will slowly clear, but not much sun is expected until at least mid-afternoon. Highs will be much cooler in the upper 60s and lower 70s.

On Friday, clouds will be more abundant with highs in the 60s. There could be a few spotty light rain showers, especially west of Puget Sound.

Over the weekend, temperatures will warm back to the 70s for the Seattle area with more sunshine.

Into next week, temperatures could get close to 80 degrees in spots on Monday and Tuesday. That will keep the weather feeling like summer, but more wildfire smoke could move back into Puget Sound as early as Sunday but more likely on Monday and Tuesday.

Cooler weather could arrive later next week with even a chance for much needed rain.