Familiar blue -- and gray -- skies to return to Western Washington this weekend

Seattle skyline-- still smoky on Aug. 10, 2017. (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- As Seattle nears two weeks with a persistent smoky haze choking the city with a grimy, brownish sky, relief is finally getting close at hand.

Thursday should be the final full day with the dense, widespread smoke that has frequently degraded air quality into the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category. A long-awaited change in the weather pattern will commence on Friday.

As a strong ridge of high pressure drifts to the east, it should finally allow some westerly breezes later on Friday that will start to clear out the smoke. The winds will be light, so don't expect a big push of wind, but it's a start.

Westerly winds will increase a bit more Saturday which should clear out even more of the smoke. By later Saturday and into Sunday, we even have our first chance of rain in weeks.

The long range pattern shows consistent westerly winds next week which will keep the B.C. smoke away from western Washington and make for pleasant summertime temperatures to boot!

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