Thank you, west wind!

As hundreds of fires burn in neighboring British Columbia, Oregon, Idaho and California, the Seattle area remains safe from the smoke (for now) thanks to winds from the Pacific.

Though the wind right now is northerly, or blowing from the north, it is high in the atmosphere. That means smoke from Canada is no immediate threat to air quality in Western Washington, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The wind will shift for a while on Tuesday, but by evening will be coming in from over the Pacific Ocean and remain westerly into the weekend, said weather service meteorologist Jeff Michalski.

“We should be OK for now,” he said.

While we’re safe from the smoke for now, wildfire season has definitely arrived. It could be time to prepare for the upcoming smoke season by setting up a clean room.


On Wednesday and Thursday, the west winds will be stronger, bringing more stratus clouds and pushing temperatures down from the mid-80s into the 70s, he said.

That’s good for Western Washington, but not the best news for Ellensburg and the rest of Eastern Washington. As the wind crosses the Cascades, it becomes gustier and drier, adding to the wildfire danger there.