February 20, 2013

Code Orange PM2.5 and PM10 in Utah and Texas

Code Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were reported in Logan, UT and El Paso, Tx, as shown in the EPA Airnow AQI animation (top left image). In Utah, temperature inversions exacerbated the air quality by limiting vertical mixing. The haze associated with the high PM2.5 is clearly visible in today's Utah State University webcam image (top right image). The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch (bottom left image, courtesy of National Weather Service) for locations near El Paso, Texas until Thursday evening due to low humidity (10-15%) and strong winds (20-30 mph).A high wind warning means a hazardous winds with sustained wind speeds of at least 40 or gusts of 58 mph. Under these conditions fires can develop and spread rapidly. The dry and windy conditions are uplifting soil/dust (coarse particle pollution, PM10), as shown in the webcam image taken from the Frank Macias Elementary School.

Posted by Ruben Delgado at February 20, 2013 9:01 PM
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