Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Code Orange In Air Quality Tomorrow

We're under a code orange air quality index for tomorrow -- and probably the next couple of days as well -- as the summer's first run of heat takes over.  There are five categories for air quality -- ranging from green to purple -- based on the levels of ground level air pollution (typically ozone) that could cause impacts for individuals that have sensitive lung issues.

Usually, a stale air mass or one that does not mix thoroughly through the atmosphere is one of the leading causes for ground level ozone buildup.  This usually requires a high pressure center built in aloft (the Bermuda High that's setup to bring us our warmth) and light winds both at the surface and also aloft...both of which we have.

We're likely going to see such a setup for a couple of days -- it may take until Saturday before we see the atmosphere mix a bit more efficiently and that will be due to the approach of a storm system and cold front that will cross the region on Sunday or Monday.