August 20, 2020 | 9:11 p.m. MDT
The map above shows the forecast for the distribution of vertically integrated smoke from wildfires at 6 a.m. MDT Friday August 21, 2020. It looks bleak for the western United States.
We are searching for a good, reliable, easy to understand, accurate predictor for wildfire smoke, after trying some that did not meet that description. The forecast above is for vertically integrated smoke, more than 1,000 feet above the ground. It should be most visible at sunrise and sunset, turning it beautifully orange or red depending on the density.
If this map and the one below, for 6 a.m. MDT Friday, seem to be accurate for your location, or not, let us know in a comment.
The map below predicts for 6 a.m. MDT Friday, near-surface smoke, technically within eight meters of the ground, which would have more of an effect on humans and animals with breathing difficulties. If you’re in one of the denser smoke areas you might be able to smell it. The little lines on the map are “wind barbs”, indicating the speed and direction of the wind. In our view they needlessly clutter the map.