Checking Air Quality – How To Forecast Smoke with Windy.com
Today I was supposed to be leaving for a 9-day Roosevelt Elk hunt in Washington and instead I am sitting at my computer, unable to go outside because it’s too smoky. I’m delaying the hunt for now and I will probably end up bagging it all together unless we get a good amount of rain soon. We tend to hike hard and far on our hunts, so I made the difficult decision to stay home until we can get out there safely.
I’m not complaining, though. I am glad to be safe at home with no evacuation orders, and I realize that this isn’t the case for everyone out west right now.
If you’re lucky like us and you’re considering any outdoor activities in the near future, check out the layers that windy.com has for air quality. We discovered this feature recently and use it to get a rough idea of what the air quality is going to be like.
After heading to windy.com, click on the Air Quality layer on the top right side of the page.
From there, you can choose either the PM 2.5 layer or the NO2 layer. PM 2.5 is particulate matter under 2.5 micrometers. NO2 is Nitrogen Dioxide which gets in the air from the burning of fuels. They’re both bad for you.
From these maps, you can see right away that the west coast isn’t doing well right now. If you zoom out, you can see that it’s the currently one of the worst places in the world for air quality, if not the worst.
Anyway, you can scroll through time just like you can when you’re looking at wind forecasts and get a rough idea of what the air quality might be like in the future (scrolling tool is down in the bottom left).
Overall, we thought this feature would be very worth sharing. Hopefully it will help some of you make it outside safely. As always, stay safe!