Air quality in Bellingham was improved to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” Thursday afternoon as cool Pacific breezes began to push wildfire smoke east and allow residents to breathe a little easier.
“Smoke is clearing up at NWS Seattle,” the National Weather Service tweeted at 6:30 a.m, using the hashtag #goodbyesmoke. “We just discovered there’s land on the north end of Lake Washington and what looks like a settlement of some sort.”
By noon the air quality in Bellingham had moved to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and by 1 p.m. you could see across Bellingham Bay.
The air in the Custer/Lynden area remained “unhealthy” into the afternoon, following “hazardous” readings at 9 p.m. Wednesday at a Northwest Clean Air Agency monitoring site.
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But sites at Neah Bay, Port Angeles, Lacey and and Oak Harbor all were reporting much-improved air quality Thursday morning, on the fifth straight day of smoky skies and record high temperatures for much of Western Washington.
Thursday’s weather forecast calls for smoke to continue clearing with a high of 68 degrees in Bellingham.
Meteorologists said the air will keep clearing through the weekend as cloudy skies and a slight chance of showers is expected.
Bellingham International Airport was reporting haze and smoke with visibility of 2 miles just before 7 a.m. Thursday.
At times Wednesday night, Bellingham’s air worsened to the “hazardous” range, the worst category, and visibility was less than 2 miles.