Your 2024 Year in Air Quality: Western States

A map of the united states displaying the US climate regions.

We’ve spoken several times about the relationship between weather and air quality. However, as the weather varies quite a bit from sea to shining sea, it’s time for an individual touch. We dug into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Center’s (NOAA’s) outlooks for April 2024 through April of 2025. Comparing said predictions to previous precipitation and temperature averages, here’s what you can expect in your personal climate region over the next 12 months.

South Climate Region (AR, KS, LA, MS, OK, & TX)

Let’s start with our home region. Overall, residents of NOAA’s South region can expect a year that is much warmer and slightly drier than average, with some important exceptions.


The likelihood of above-average temperatures climbs from 33-40% in early spring to 40-50% through mid-fall for the majority of the area. At least some parts of Texas can expect a 50-60% chance of above-average temperatures for the entire year.


Considering that this region includes everything from New Orleans to Amarillo, it will come as no surprise that the precipitation picture is more complex. In spring, an area centered around the Rio Grande is expected to have below-average precipitation while Mississippi and parts of New Orleans can expect higher-than-average precipitation. Predictions return to normal for the late summer and early fall. In late fall, the Mississippi River delta will become the center of a possible dry spell which will last the rest of the 12-month period.

Air Quality

A warmer and drier spring greatly increases wildfire risk in western Texas, and may even expand the duration of wildfire peak, which is usually from February through April.

The later dry spell will be less problematic for LA and MS, which normally average 5-6 inches of rain per month. However, there may be an increase in allergies. Per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “During dry seasons, trees can actually release more pollen. There is less moisture in the air to weigh down the pollen grains when the wind blows. This helps more pollen travel farther and more easily."

With warmer temperatures predicted in an already warm area, the entire region (with the possible exception of Kansas), should also beware an increase in ground-level ozone.

Southwest Climate Region (AZ, CO, NM, & UT)

The already warm and dry Four Corners states can expect a year that is warmer and drier than average.


The chance of increased temperatures never dips below 33-40% for the majority of the region and often climbs as high as 60%. The northeast corner of Colorado might prove an exception to this rule, and the Great Salt Lake area can expect some relief late in the year.


Predictions for lower-than-average precipitation rarely cover the entire region at any one time, but no area of the region will be spared from at least some drought. The northeastern areas of the Southwest may expect their dip in summer, while Arizona finds itself parched in fall, winter, and next spring.

Air Quality

Dry and warm conditions in an already dry region may lead to an increase in wildfire smoke, especially outside of the monsoon season. The area can also anticipate an increase in tree pollen.

West Climate Region (CA & NV)

This large region (consisting of only 2 states) is already known for wildfires; this year will do nothing to improve that reputation.


From now until fall, the entire region can expect above-average temperatures. Oddly, it's the northern latitudes which show the highest chance of an increase during this time. Starting in mid-to-late fall, temperature predictions return to normal except for those areas bordering the Four Corners states.


The region will experience mostly normal precipitation levels until autumn. Then, a large swath of the region (whose center jumps repeatedly between Fort Yuma and central CA) will experience a drop in average precipitation (33-40% chance for most areas).

Air Quality

While normal precipitation will likely help the early wildfire season, dryness will increase right as the infamous Santa Ana winds kick in. This may fan the flames later in the season. Also, expect prolific pollen and high ground-level ozone.

Northwest Climate Region (ID, OR, & WA)

The Pacific Northwest has the most complex picture of any climate region this year.


Overall, the Northwest can expect a ~50% chance of above-average temperatures until late summer or early fall. Autumn will bring average temperatures to everything but southern Idaho and the area southwest of Steens Mountain in Oregon.

Winter will bring a surprising period of below-average temperatures to WA as well as parts of OR and ID. This makes the Northwest the only part of the continental US expected to experience below-average temperatures this year!


The entire area — from the temperate rainforests of Olympic National Park to the solitude of the Owyhee Desert — can expect less than usual precipitation until late summer. The region returns to normal for the rest of the period, except for a brief dry spell in southern Oregon around the holidays.

Air Quality

Like other regions experiencing similar changes, expect wildfires, pollen, and ground-level ozone to be worse this year, especially in spring and summer.

Colder winters are bad news for the region’s many basin cities. Cold air can stagnate, forcing warm air to flow over it. This creates a cap which traps smog and pollution closer to the ground.

Northern Rockies & Plains Climate Region (MT, NB, ND, SD & WY)

This region’s size and central location mean that it is meteorologically pulled in different directions by the surrounding areas.


The Dakotas and Nebraska will have a normal spring with a slight chance of increased temperatures through late fall. The Wyoming and Montana Rockies can expect a warm thaw and a hot summer. Fall brings relief to Montana and the Dakotas, but things won’t return to average for the rest of the region until winter. Next spring will be more mundane.


The region can expect a dry summer (33-50% chance) but average precipitation for the rest of the year. Parts of Nebraska may experience a brief rainy period this spring.

Air Quality

As discussed with other regions, a dry hot summer is unfortunate, especially as many counties in the region see their wildfires peak in summer. As much of the region's water supply requires a slow spring melt, we are not certain what effect a warm spring will have on plants in the area; it’s likely that trees will begin releasing pollen early.

Alaska & Hawaii

NOAA doesn’t provide yearlong climate predictions for Hawaii. Thus, we can’t recommend anything other than the obvious — being a wet, tropical climate, the state will likely deal with mold and pollen issues. We also are united in a fervent hope that HI doesn’t experience anything like the wildfires of last year.

NOAA does provide predictions for Alaska, however.


All of Alaska has a good chance of a warmer spring, especially the coastal regions. Starting in summer, the state’s temperature becomes a moving target — bands of increased-to-normal temperatures begin jumping around the state and swapping places without much pattern to speak of.


Spring sees most of AK, especially the southern coast, experiencing above-average precipitation. An exception to this is the eastern half of the North Slope, which won’t see its increase until autumn (when much of the rest of the state returns to normal precipitation).

Air Quality

Overall, it appears Alaska will see a year that is warmer and wetter. This brings with it an increase in mold proliferation, whose spores can irritate allergies or infect vulnerable individuals.

Solving Weather-Based Air Quality Issues

As this year will be yet another choked with wildfire smoke, the states’ last refuge is the indoors.

To remove smoke (and pollen) particles inside, use an air purifier with a true HEPA filter. A DIY cleaner will do in a pinch; but for a proven, professional solution, choose a purifier with ActivePure Technology. We pair many of our machines with HEPA filters to remove 99.97% of the small particles which wildfires (and the smog created by ground-level ozone) emit. As a bonus, devices with ActivePure Technology are proven to neutralize up to 99.9% of many species of mold spores.

Whether the weather brings warmth, wet, or wildfires, we have the air quality solution for you. Check out our product page to learn more.

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