Although we saw a break from the smoke and haze for a few days in northern California and southern Oregon, it definitely made a return Wednesday. In fact, as winds shifted late Tuesday evening, air quality began to decrease in Fort Jones and Etna, and as the sun rose Wednesday, it was evident that the haze made its way back into southern Oregon.
Air quality remains “unhealthy” for parts of Siskiyou County and it’s been reading “moderate” just further north in Jackson and Klamath Counties. We are seeing this surge of smoke again due to the west southwesterly winds aloft, which have pushed the smoke towards the northeast. Because of this, visibility has been greatly reduced in Montague and even slightly reduced in Medford.
A change in the winds comes when a cold front passes Friday into Saturday, which will then add a more northerly component to the wind aloft. This will help keep some of the smoke out of southern Oregon. As it draws near, Labor Day is still expected to be mostly sunny and pleasant for inland locations, and cool and mostly cloudy along the coast.
Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna