There's just not a lot of air movement which is making for polluted air close to the ground. Through Friday at noon, those who have respiratory issues should use caution while outside.

Things such as wood burning stoves during our recent cold snap are contributing to this "dirty air" and the Air Stagnation Advisory. This advisory has been extended until Noon on Friday, October 29th for several western Montana counties AND counties in northern Idaho.

Basically, there are particulates in the air, lowering air quality...enough to affect those who are sensitive.

As an interesting note, none of us in our office had ever heard of such a weather alert. We've of course heard of various Air Quality Alerts which can happen during the winter or summer. But the ASA is new to us!

According to the National Weather Service:

  • THERE IS AN AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON FRIDAY.
  • WHAT IS INVOLVED WITH THIS ADVISORY: The air quality is getting worse, due to light winds and reduced "vertical mixing". (It's just sitting there, basically)
  • WHERE IS THIS ADVISORY: All counties of Montana west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Blackfoot valley heading south through Butte.
  • WHEN IS THIS ADVISORY: Until noon Friday.
  • IMPACTS OF THIS ADVISORY: Periods of stagnant air can result in the buildup of pollutants near the ground. (The 'dirty air' is not being blown out of valleys.)
  • WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS ADVISORY: People suffering from any respiratory illness should follow their doctor's advice for dealing with high levels of air pollution during periods of stagnant air and these advisories.
  • "According to state air quality agencies, extended periods of stagnant air can hold pollutants close to the ground where people live and breathe."
  • Check with your local burn agency or local law enforcement for any current restrictions that may be in effect in your area. Areas with any burning will be impacted even further.