Dirty, polluted, stagnant air may be a problem for several western Montana counties until Thursday around Noon. Those with respiratory issues should use extra caution during this time.

These kind of advisories are not common, but very important for those who may be affected. Colder temperatures have prompted lots of wood stove use in the last week. With very little wind in the coming days, air particulates increase therefore lowering air quality.

According to the National Weather Service:

  • AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MDT THURSDAY.
  • WHAT DOES THIS ADVISORY MEAN: Deteriorating air quality due to light winds and reduced vertical mixing.
  • WHERE DOES THIS ADVISORY APPLY: All of Montana west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Blackfoot valley south through Butte. Included: Clearwater and Idaho Counties including the Nez Perce Reservation.
  • WHEN IS THIS ADVISORY HAPPENING: Through at least Thursday morning.
  • WHAT IMPACTS WILL THIS ADVISORY HAVE: Periods of air stagnation can lead to the buildup of pollutants near the ground, making for "dirty air".
  • WHAT PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS SHOULD YOU TAKE: People with respiratory illness should follow their physician's advice for dealing with high levels of air pollution during periods of stagnant air.
  • According to our Montana state air quality agencies that monitor this sort of thing, extended periods of time with stagnant air can hold pollutants close to the ground where people live and breathe, creating potentially hazardous condition to sensitive people.
  • IMPORTANT: Check with your local burn agency for any current restrictions in your area...it is common for temporary restrictions to be put in place during periods of poor air quality.
Air Stagnation Advisory - Michelle Wolfe