Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dusty, Unhealthy Air Quality from the Baja to Four Corners Region

Staff Writer, DB Holmes
Weather / Air Quality 

A windy day across the state of Arizona. Dusty, unhealthy, and opaque air led to exceeding the air quality standards. This morning as dawn rose the air looked like fog. Upon smelling the air, one knew something was not right with the air.
Today's Unheathly Air
Forecast Discussion: Another dry cold front is currently marching through Arizona. Stronger winds along and ahead of the cold front have kicked up an impressive plume of dust, stretching from the northern Gulf of California to the Four-Corners region! The dust is being carried west to east with the western extent now entering Maricopa County. Overall, the dust plume now seems to be dissipating. Visibility has improved compared to early morning readings, but additional dust is still possible today under gusty winds this afternoon. The large amount of long-range dust transport overnight from the lower deserts of southeastern California and Arizona have pushed PM-10 readings into the Unhealthy category. Very high hourly average PM-10 concentrations this morning will likely result in exceedances of the federal standard at multiple monitors today. People should consider limiting outdoor physical activity due to unhealthy air quality. For tomorrow and Tuesday, breezy conditions persist, especially on Tuesday, but the direction turns more northeasterly allowing PM concentrations to fall into the upper Good to lower Moderate category. As the disturbance clears the area, ozone will drop with levels remaining near or slightly above Moderate thresholds. Clear skies and high temps in the mid 80s to lower 90s are expected.
Weather Conditions for this week:

More wind on Tuesday and a chance of sprinkles at the start of next week. A gradual increase in temperatures until triple digits dominate the long range forecast until September.

Source: AIRNow, Weather Channel