Posted at 4:40 PM on August 12, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Twin Cities Air Quality Index (AQI) is climbing this week.
We've been breathing easy this summer. It may get a little tougher this week.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issues an air pollution health advisory for the Twin Cities for Thursday. The combination of light winds from the south and stagnant air will cause particulates to rise this week.
There are two main factors that trigger these alerts in the metro.
1) Light southerly flow transports humidity and fine particulates from pollution sources in the Ohio Valley and areas to the south.
2) Upper level high pressure causes air to sink and creates stagnation near the ground level. This traps pollutants that are produced locally and they accumulate in our air. Local sources of pollution include your car, lawn mower and your bonfire.
This would be a good week to skip that backyard bonfire. I've never understood why people want to have a fire on days when it's nearly 90 degrees anyway. (Yes, I'm editorializing here.)
The forecast is for moderate levels of particulates the rest of this week. Take it easy outside of you are affected by respiratory problems.
We're close to 90 today in the metro and it looks like the heat will build through Saturday. We could see some mid to upper 90s this week in western Minnesota. I would not be shocked to see 100 degrees in the Dakotas this week.