Sue Misao / The Herald                                The sky is likely once again to look like this, when the sun rose Wednesday over Calvary Lutheran Church in Everett.

Sue Misao / The Herald The sky is likely once again to look like this, when the sun rose Wednesday over Calvary Lutheran Church in Everett.

Brown is the new blue: Potentially dangerous smoke to return

The Weather Service says a wind shift will bring wildfire smoke from British Columbia starting Sunday.

EVERETT — Enjoy the blue sky for a few hours. Brown smog is returning.

Wildfire smoke is expected to inundate the Puget Sound region again, starting Sunday, and could reach dangerous levels Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. This was not unexpected, but the forecast is more certain now.

The agency’s Seattle forecast center issued a special statement Friday explaining that the wind is expected to shift again, bringing low-level smoke from fires in British Columbia. Hundreds of wildfires are burning there and in Washington and Oregon.

“The surface flow pattern will turn offshore and northerly on Sunday,” the Weather Service said. “Smoke from British Columbia fires is likely to spread south into Western Washington. Northern areas will be affected first, but eventually all of Western Washington could have thick smoke near the surface.”

“It is possible,” the Weather Service said, that air quality on Monday and Tuesday “could return to the unhealthy levels of earlier this week,” when health officials recommended that even fit people avoid exertion outdoors and that others remain inside, if possible.

Oh, and it will be hot early next week.

“Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will be in the 80s to low 90s,” the Weather Service said. “Current forecasts call for a marine push Tuesday night or Wednesday that will cool things off and also push most of the smoke out of the area.”

Although the sky on Friday in Snohomish County was a brilliant blue, the air actually was still a little smoky, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “Smoke is still lingering and we have moderate air quality at times in much of the Puget Sound region,” the agency said.

“Moderate” is defined as less-than-ideal air that could be a problem for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution. But it’s better than the air of a few days ago, which was deemed by the agency as “unhealthy.”

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