DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for Susquehanna Valley on Monday, June 20

Forecast
Monday, Jun 20: 106 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
62 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Tuesday, Jun 21: 83 AQI Moderate Ozone
58 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: At 2 p.m. EDT this Friday afternoon, a northerly flow to the east of an area of high pressure located over the Great Lakes is bringing drier air into the area. Fine particulate is being mixed out by an increasing breeze, so overall averages for today will be in the upper good range for this pollutant. The high will sink slowly southward to a position over western North Carolina by Monday. This will act to increase both fine particulate and ozone. In fact, ozone levels will be at their highest on Monday, the first day of summer with light southwest winds and temperatures close to 90 degrees. Fine particulate levels will also increase in response to rising low level humidity. Moonlit and turning out comfortable overnight with lows in the lower 60s. *** Saturday’s forecast: Sunshine will prevail for the day Saturday with high pressure overhead. Fine particulate will be elevated in the morning to the moderate range, and not enough mixing will occur in the afternoon to bring overall averages below the moderate range. Likewise, with a strong June sun and maximum insolation, ozone levels will average in the lower moderate range as well. Afternoon temperatures in the lower to middle 80s. *** Sunday’s forecast: Another full day of sunshine is in store for Sunday with afternoon temperatures in the middle and upper 80s. Fine particulate will again be in the lower moderate range, but ozone could go well into the moderate range with light winds and full sun. ***Monday’s forecast: High pressure will be located across the Tennessee valley on Monday, allowing for light southwest winds and a mostly sunny sky. There is the concern that ozone levels go into the code ORANGE range, especially if any onshore flow is very light and emissions increase. Temperatures approaching the 90 degree mark with fine particulate in the middle moderate range. *** Extended forecast: A cold front approaches on Tuesday, and the exact time this front passes is still uncertain. There is a chance for thunderstorms in the late afternoon and early evening. With enough sunshine, ozone will go well into the moderate range, and fine particulate will average in the lower moderate range. A little cooler and less humid air with good air quality should follow for the middle of next week.—McAuliffe

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.

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