An Ozone Action Day has been issued for the Tri-Cities for Saturday. The AQI will be 101.
There are several factors that produce ozone. Emissions from cars, engines, factories, etc., are released in the atmosphere. High pressure over the area Saturday will also allow for the air to sink – we call that subsidence. This sinking air in turn traps all the emissions and pollutants close to the ground. Sunlight and heat can also cause a chemical reaction that can increase ground ozone. Ozone or smog as some call it is harmful to breath.
Children and teens, the elderly and those who work and exercise outdoors are especially vulnerable during Ozone Action Days. Be sure to reduce you outdoor activities during the heat of the afternoon when ozone levels will be their highest. Take breaks often if you have to work outside. People with asthma and other breathing issues should make sure they have their medicine close by.
Smoke from wildfires over southern Canada and the western states will also be back in the area for Saturday. The smoke will produce hazy conditions making breathing difficult.