Staff Writer, DB HolmesWeather / Meteorology
It is that time of the year again when temperatures rise as well as ozone concentrations. The rainless wind episodes have helped further dry out the deserts. Potential for blowing dust is still relevant as breezy conditions come into the Valley this weekend with windy conditions set up for the middle of next week.
Forecast Discussion: The official high in Phoenix on Wednesday was 95°F. As expected, we saw ozone concentrations go up around the forecast area under the light, west-to-east flow. The baseline for Thursday is higher, so it’s likely that levels will go higher as well under sunny skies and relatively light winds. An approaching upper-level system could boost levels further on Friday into the middle Moderate range before dropping off Saturday with increased surface breezes and atmospheric mixing. PM10 levels also bounced higher, into the lower Moderate range on Wednesday. The South Phoenix and West 43rd Avenue monitors registered 53 and 55 AQI, respectively. Buckeye was not far behind at 50 AQI. This is a testament to how dry the soil has become, and long-range models suggest there will be no rain expected over the next 2 weeks. We don’t anticipate any significant blowing dust this weekend, but it’s possible to see some pockets along the desert floor between Phoenix and southern California Saturday into early Sunday. Daytime temperatures are forecast to drop into the upper 80s, close to 90°F on Saturday and Sunday, warming slightly once again by Monday.