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Ozone Air Quality Action Day

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Saturday, Jul 7
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Saturday, Jul 7: 124 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
90 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Current Conditions as of 2 PM on Friday: The heat wave continues today with temperatures already back into the 90s throughout the region. Temperatures will likely approach the 100 degree mark tomorrow, but relief is on the way. A passing cold front on Sunday will provide closer to normal temperatures for at least the early half of next week. Air quality conditions will also improve behind the front after Code Orange Ozone levels and moderate PM 2.5 concentrations that are expected on Saturday. *** Saturday’s Forecast: Dangerous heat and humidity on Saturday will drive the heat index above 100 degrees. Forecast highs will be mostly in the upper 90s with a few locations cresting the century mark. Dew point temperatures rising to the upper 60s to near 70 degrees will make it feel like it is 105 to 110 degrees! The temperature will not be the only thing reaching dangerous levels on Saturday. Ozone concentrations are expected to climb well into the Code Orange range (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) under favorable conditions. These conditions are mainly the mostly sunny skies and westerly wind that we will see throughout the day. The westerly wind will provide transport from areas seeing elevated Ozone concentrations well into the Code Orange range on Friday. Dew point temperatures will also rise back to near 70 degrees to show the influx of moisture into the region aided by the westerly transport. This will bump PM 2.5 concentrations into the middle to high moderate range. A slow moving cold front will approach the Commonwealth late Saturday evening, providing a risk for some severe thunderstorm potential into the overnight hours. The arrival of this frontal system will mark the start of improving air quality and cooler temperatures before we start a new week. *** Sunday’s Forecast: Storms overnight and into early Sunday morning should clear out by the mid-morning. Some clearing skies will allow temperatures to climb back towards the 90 degree mark, but uncertainty in the timing of when cloud cover will build during the afternoon will be a deciding factor on if we will break the current 90 degree or higher streak. The increasing clouds will be a result of the slow moving frontal boundary gradually shifting southward through the Commonwealth. Ozone concentrations could very well reach the moderate range, though potential for increasing clouds should limit Ozone from reaching Code Orange status. PM 2.5 concentrations with high moisture levels should also remain in the moderate range, though not as high of levels as on Saturday. Overnight storms will help to clean out the air somewhat, but behind the front a cooler and cleaner air mass will move in. In summary, Sunday will see temperatures not as hot as Saturday and lower Ozone and PM 2.5 concentrations, but not a complete improvement just yet. *** Monday’s Forecast: The complete improvement will come on Monday as the frontal boundary finally shifts to our south. A cooler and cleaner air mass will take the place of the hot and dirty air mass that was in place to start the weekend. Temperatures Monday will approach closer to normal values with highs in the low to mid 80s. A mix of sun and clouds will also help to not only keep temperatures down, but likely see good levels of Ozone. With winds now more north/northwesterly, PM 2.5 concentrations should also return to the good range with lower moisture present in the atmosphere. Skies will gradually clear out to see more sun than clouds as we progress through the week, though temperatures will remain in the mid 80s. Ozone concentrations should remain mostly in the high good to low moderate range. There will be a slight chance for scattered showers throughout the week, though not enough moisture or probability for any day to be a complete washout. Warmer temperatures will begin to return again late in the week with more favorable conditions for deteriorating air quality once again. — Roble
Here are some Air Quality Action Day tips you can follow to help reduce pollution:

Days when ozone levels are expected to be high:

* Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
* Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
* Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
* Combine errands and reduce trips.
* Limit engine idling.
* Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

Days when particle pollution levels are expected to be high:

* Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
* Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
* Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley.

* For more information on the health effects of PM 2.5 and ozone, visit the EPA Airnow website.
* To see the current forecast and monitoring information for the Southwest PA Region, visit us online at the PA DEP Forecast and Monitoring Site.
* To find out more information about the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley, visit the AQP of SV Website.

Do not reply directly to this email. If you want more information on the air quality forecast, or other aspects of the local air quality program, please contact your local air quality agency using the information above. For more information on the U.S. EPA’s AIRNow Program, visit http://www.airnow.gov.

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