Friday, March 29, 2013

Ozone season starting ... technically

Monday marks the start of ozone season in North Carolina, but it's more a technicality than reality this year.

Regardless, it's a reminder of the potential health problems we'll all face in coming months across the region.

The ozone season stretches from April through October, and the N.C. Division of Air Quality will issue daily forecasts for the Charlotte, Hickory, Asheville, Fayetteville, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Raleigh-Durham and Rocky Mount areas.

Ozone is the state's most widespread air quality program, state officials say, and it surfaces in the summer. When ozone levels are high, people with chronic respiratory problems can experience breathing troubles. High ozone levels are most likely on sunny, calm, hot days in metropolitan areas.

Ozone also can cause damage to trees and crops.

The daily air quality forecasts offer a prediction on the level of ozone and particle pollution for the following day.

The levels range from Green (good), to Yellow (moderate), and then to Orange or Red for unhealthy levels. On Code Orange and Code Red days, people are advised to limit their outdoor activities.

When I mentioned that the start of the ozone season was a "technicality" this year, it's because temperatures have been too chilly for ozone problems. And it doesn't look as if things will change anytime soon.  More colder-than-average weather is forecast for next week.

Eventually, however, the blocking pattern over the northern latitudes will break down, summer weather will assert itself, and we'll be worrying about ozone and particulate pollution again.


Anonymous said...

So where does all this ozone come from? Other states ? Seems to me the population here in nc is spread out unlike the much more populated areas like nyc or LA.

Weather is Drama said...

Perhaps we need tighter border control to keep out illegal entry of "ozone."

Now that winter is dead--"stick a fork in it"-- all the melodrama and hype can now be channeled into scary post on "ozone."

Anonymous said...

Behold, the latest panic: "ozone." With potential snow and ice now out of the way, "ozone" makes its entrance onto the scene to cause havoc in our lives! Stay tuned, and listen to the wise weathermen!

Anonymous said...

Steve, how have you managed to assemble such an unmerry band of angry jerks who comment on all your blog entries even though they claim not to care about what you do or say?

Anonymous said...

Steve, how have you managed to assemble such a dedicated band of gullible jerks who comment on all your blog entries and claim to believe everything you do or say?

Anonymous said...

Let's tighten up the emissions controls. That way more businesses will move to China - and we all know how much they care about controlling emissions. To sum it up - the more we tighten the controls here in USA, the more emissions are put into the atmosphere worldwide (by China, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Louisville may have the edge over Duke this weekend, but I cannot be certain. Perhaps the Red Shocker will prevail after all?