DEP Issues Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Jan 31

DEP Issues a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day Forecast for January 31, 2016 for Eight Counties in South-central PA

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange air quality action day for particle pollution on Sunday, January 31, 2016 for Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and York Counties.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality. Green signifies good; yellow means moderate; orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people; and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all.

Over the weekend, with a ridge of high pressure building in the south-central region of Pennsylvania from the southeastern US, warmer air will begin to build in over the commonwealth. On Sunday, the clear skies during the early morning hours coupled with the thick snowpack across eastern PA will allow for the formation of a strong surface inversion. The inversion will help to limit mixing near the ground, forcing an increase in particle pollution concentrations. Particle levels are expected to remain elevated during the afternoon as the winds remain light as they turn more out of the southeast. Overall, the daily average concentration of particle pollution should peak in the Code ORANGE range.

To help keep the air healthy, residents and business are encouraged to voluntarily restrict certain pollution-producing activities by:

• Limiting the use of wood stoves in the overnight hours;
• Setting thermostats to a lower temperature
• Carpooling or using public transportation; and
• Combining errands to reduce trips.

These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Lehigh Valley-Berks Air Quality Partnership and the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership.

For more information, click here or visit www.dep.pa.gov.

DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for Friday, Jan. 15

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Friday, Jan 15
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Jan 15: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jan 16: 45 AQI Good Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Thursday, mostly sunny skies prevail over the region as an area of high pressure across the southeastern Us dominates our weather. Right now, southwesterly winds coupled with the sunshine have allowed temperatures to climb into the upper 40s across the region. The combination of the warm air and the light winds across the area have allowed PM 2.5 levels to creep up into the moderate range. Expect levels to climb even higher tomorrow as a more stable air mass builds in for a good portion of the day. *** Friday’s Forecast: So for Friday, expect clear skies in the morning to give way to partly cloudy skies during the afternoon as we remain influenced by an area of high pressure. With the high building into the western Atlantic, expect the ridge to extend northwestward into the northern Mid-Atlantic region. At the same time, a new storm system will begin to take shape across the southeastern US. This system is slated to make its way up the East Coast later in the day. For much of the day, winds should be light over the region. Warmer air will continue to build in from the southwest aloft. It is these warmer conditions coupled with the light flow at the surface that will allow an inversion to form over the area. During the morning hours, the inversion is likely to fairly strong. As we move through the day, expect the inversion to break down as the surface temperatures warm (afternoon temperatures should peak in the mid 40s) and the storm approaches from the south. The intensity of the inversion during the morning hours along with the light winds will limit mixing within the boundary layer, allowing PM 2.5 levels to climb. With these kind of conditions persisting for much of the day, expect PM 2.5 levels to reach the Code ORANGE status, which is why we are issuing an Air Quality Action Day for PM 2.5.

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.

Air Quality Action Day declared for Susquehanna Valley on Thursday, Jan 7

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Thursday, Jan 7
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Thursday, Jan 7: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Friday, Jan 8: 100 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Wednesday, sunny skies persist over the region as a ridge of high pressure remains centered across the eastern US. The persistence of this ridge over our area has contributed to light winds and a rise in temperatures today. In fact, temperatures are approaching the 40 degree mark. The combination of the light winds and warmer temperatures has also allowed PM 2.5 levels to rise into the moderate range. With even warmer air building in tomorrow, expect PM 2.5 levels to peak near the Code YELLOW / Code ORANGE threshold. *** Thursday’s Forecast: So for Thursday, expect mostly sunny skies to persist once again as the ridge of high pressure remains in place across the eastern US. This ridge will allow for clear conditions during the morning hours. The clear conditions will, in turn, allow the ground to radiatively cool, reducing temperatures into the 10s. With relatively no wind to speak of, expect there to be limited mixing near the surface, increasing PM 2.5 levels across the area. An inversion will remain in place for much of the day, keeping PM 2.5 levels elevated near the Code YELLOW / Code ORANGE threshold, even as temperatures rise into the low 40s. This is why an Air Quality Action Day for PM 2.5 has been issued for the Susquehanna Valley region of PA. ***

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

* To find out more information about the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley, visit the AQP of SV Website.

 

DEP extends air quality alert to Saturday and Sunday

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Saturday, Dec 12
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Saturday, Dec 12: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Sunday, Dec 13: 104 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Monday, Dec 14: 60 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Tuesday, Dec 15: 50 AQI Good Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
*** Saturday’s Forecast: If conditions over the past few days had to be summarized using three words, a good choice would be to use foggy, hazy, and mild. All three of those will be the story for the weather again on Saturday. Temperatures have the potential to climb into the 60s, which is well above normal for almost the middle of December. Light surface winds and increasing moisture as warmer air moves in aloft ahead of the next approaching system may limit just how high these temperatures peak for the day as the fog will continue and should be tough to break under mostly cloudy conditions. Based on the light winds, warmer air moving in aloft, continually increasing moisture near the surface, and PM-2.5 concentrations already elevated in the high moderate range for some locations on Friday, it is expected that there will be at least a few scattered Code Orange readings across the region. There is a possibility that the fog becomes so thick that it seems as if a light rain is falling, which we sometimes see helps to clear out the air somewhat. This precipitating fog scenario likely would not occur across the entire area, perhaps more situational due to terrain/etc., so a continuation of expecting Code Orange PM-2.5 concentrations will continue. *** Sunday’s Forecast: Similar conditions as Saturday will occur on Sunday with the fog, haze, and above normal temperatures continuing. Moisture levels will continue to rise with the peak of the warm air aloft moving in overhead by late in the day. Temperatures are again expected to reach the 60s, but thick fog and mostly cloudy skies will yet again have a say in that. Unless concentrations fall across the region over the course of the day on Saturday, PM-2.5 should once again remain at levels high in the moderate range to low Code Orange range. *** Monday’s Forecast: The best chance for precipitation over this forecast period will be on Monday, but with the mild temperatures will be in the form of rain showers. Monday will see an interesting transition from the fog and haze from over the weekend to windy and wet. On average for the day, PM-2.5 concentrations will likely end up in the moderate range. The first few hours of the day could see concentrations continue at Code Orange levels that will fall over the course of the day as the winds increase and precipitation later arrives. Some locations could very well fall to the good range by the end of the day. If the fog struggles to lift over both days of the weekend, the increasing winds mixing the warmer air aloft down to the surface could result in the highest temperature over these three days occurring briefly on Monday. The precipitation will move out by late evening.

For more information, go to DEP news release

DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for Friday, Dec 11

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Friday, Dec 11
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Dec 11: 104 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Dec 12: 99 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EST this Thursday afternoon, stagnant conditions persisted across the area with the sun finally breaking through in the past couple of hours. Fine particulate levels continue to be elevated across the area, with code ORANGE in a few locations. These conditions will continue into the day Friday as a strong inversion sets up later tonight and Friday morning. For tonight, we will have patchy cloudiness with areas of fog later on. Low temperatures will fall into the middle to upper 30s. Fine particulate matter will accumulate to the code ORANGE range overnight. *** Friday’s forecast: Fog and clouds will yield to sunshine by Friday afternoon, and things will be on the mild side, as temperatures approach 60 degrees. While there will be some mixing in the lower levels of the atmosphere Friday afternoon, it will not be enough to keep PM2.5 out of the code ORANGE range for an overall average. Clear to partly cloudy Friday night with another inversion developing. Lows only falling to near 40 degrees.

For more information, go to DEP news release

For current particle pollution levels in the Cumberland Valley, go to Cumberlink

Air quality action day declared for Tuesday

 

DEP has declared Air Quality Action Day for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Tuesday, Dec 8
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Tuesday, Dec 8: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Wednesday, Dec 9: 94 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EST this Monday afternoon, high pressure nearby continues to produce little wind and elevated levels of fine particulate. This will continue to be the case into the day Tuesday as we expect a inversion to develop overnight with near calm winds. A little mixing this afternoon has caused PM2.5 to drop some, but overall averages for today will average in the code ORANGE range. Tonight will be clear to start, then low clouds and areas of dense fog will roll in later on. Code ORANGE levels of fine particulate are again likely. ***Tuesday’s forecast: High pressure will maintain it’s grip on the area for the day Tuesday. It will be foggy to start, then sunshine will again return in most locations by the afternoon. A little mixing will occur in the afternoon, but will not be enough to keep fine particulate concentrations out of the code ORANGE range. High temperatures will be close to 50 degrees. ***

For more information, go to: DEP news release

AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY HAS BEEN DECLARED FOR SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY ON FRIDAY, JAN 23

 The Department of Environmental Protection has declared an air quality action day for Jan.23.
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Jan 23: 110 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jan 24: 81 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: Clouds and fog are breaking up across the region as of 1 p.m. EST this Thursday afternoon. High pressure will slowly build into the area overnight tonight into Friday. We are concerned about very light winds near the surface as the high builds in with very little mixing expected. In addition, temperature inversions are likely to trap PM2.5 close to the ground. So for tonight, expect some clearing skies with very light winds. Fine particulate will increase into the code ORANGE range later on tonight as the temperature inversion develops. Low temperatures close to 20 degrees. Friday’s forecast: A PM2.5 Action Day will be declared for the day Friday as very light winds and some warming aloft will bring any mixing in the boundary layer to a halt. Code ORANGE concentrations of fine particulate are likely with this scenario. With some sunshine, afternoon temperatures will recover into the middle 30s. A storm system coming out of the deep South will then move northeastward towards us Friday night into Saturday, and with the current forecast track, we could be in line for a quick inch or so of snow during this period. Precipitation could briefly turn to a bit of rain by later Saturday morning as temperatures creep just above the freezing mark. While atmospheric mixing will be a little greater on Saturday, fine particulate concentrations will remain well into the moderate range. *** Extended forecast: The weather pattern will continue to be an active one as we move into the early part of next week. A clipper system will move eastward and affect the area later Sunday night into Monday with snow. Because the low is expected to track more to the south, precipitation could fall as all snow as cold air remains in place. Following this, a large area of high pressure builds in for Tuesday into Wednesday of next week with dry weather and light winds. Low moderate levels of PM will occur Sunday into Monday, but with high pressure building in next week with existing snow cover, we have to again be concerned with stronger inversions trapping fine particulates close to the ground.–McAuliffe
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