View Full Version : What's the air like between Sonoma and San Francisco?

John Kasaian
19-Aug-2018, 11:15
Any bad smoke from the Mendocino Complex fire? Enough to make a hiking trip unhealthy?

19-Aug-2018, 11:37
Iím in Kenwood right now, 10 miles SE of Santa Rosa. Slight haze down the Valley. It was definitely worse yesterday. Iíd say it is OK for hiking ~ sort of a 7/10. Evening photos of overlapping ridges will be good for photography at least!

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19-Aug-2018, 13:47
Drove from Hayward to Eureka this morning. Smoke was thick and unhealthy-looking higher up on the tops of the mountain/hills. If it settles down to ground level it will not be fun.

19-Aug-2018, 15:35
In the last few weeks I spent a lot of time in Marin and back/forth to the east bay and have really noticed the bad air quality a lot. It can change dynamically based on wind and weather conditions so I usually check the informative web site airnow.gov to get an idea what I am dealing with day to day.

Leszek Vogt
19-Aug-2018, 17:18
John, I see the index shows 156 for where you live, 55 for Bay Area and 74 where I is. Pretty funky all around.


John Kasaian
19-Aug-2018, 19:14
I'll wait until the fire is out then. Thanks for the info!

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2018, 21:37
There has been unusually dense fog for this time of the year on the coast, more reminiscent of June or July than August. Really magical light up in the cloud forests on Mt Tam, Pt Reyes etc - practically raining under the trees. Quite cool today on the Bay but with just a tiny bit of smoke mixed in with the fog. An onshore flow is expected to blow all the smoke away from the Bay by Tues. Further north it's a different question. They're contending that it's not only Calif smoke involved, but also from fires as far north as OR, WA, and even southern Canada being piped down by the pressure front. Again, this is due to change imminently. I wouldn't wait. The fires around Clear Lake could go another month, and then more might start up. Oct is usually the worst fire month. The Sonoma coastal areas should be fine; and the air in Marin has been quite good. Inland cities like Santa Rosa or Walnut Creek have poor air, but that's almost routine in summer.

William Whitaker
20-Aug-2018, 12:43
This wind vector map for the Bay Area may be interesting (or not).

Drew Wiley
20-Aug-2018, 17:26
Evening update : expect so-so air inland, including the wine country, at least another day. The coast itself should be fine.

John Kasaian
20-Aug-2018, 20:46
Thanks! It looks like my plans now will have to be postponed until mid October, which should at least keep me out of the Sierra for a good part of deer season.

Drew Wiley
24-Aug-2018, 17:27
Well, I drove over the top in bad smoke pouring over every pass - Monitor, Sonora, Tioga, and Mammoth; and it was downright ugly in Mono Basin. But Virginia Lks and Rock Cr were very very clear. Then after chasing Tubby the Bear away from my camera pack, I drove over Tioga this morning thru the most crystal clear air I've ever seen up there in summer; and Mono Basin was clear down below. Where did all the smoke go? Turns out it was compacted like a smashed tire right around 6,000 ft on the western slope, which would include Yos Valley, the San Joaquin Valley, and yeah everything else all the way home here to the Bay. So glad I took a brief break in the high country. But now another wind change forecasted. So who knows?

25-Aug-2018, 09:32
SF and East Bay was a lot worse than Sonoma on Thursday although itís improving a bit in the last couple of days. I thought the offshore breeze would keep it away.....

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Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2018, 17:50
Dramatic air clearing over the Bay today, expected to be even better by mid-week, but unseasonably cool.

26-Aug-2018, 20:52
It has been unseasonably cool all summer long so far and is forecast to continue. Not that I'm complaining...


Drew Wiley
5-Sep-2018, 13:33
Utterly schizophrenic air quality lately. Hard to predict. Bad at the moment. Yet another fire toward the north.