• Poor air quality could cause ozone alert

    By: John Ahrens


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Air quality in Charlotte could be bad this week.
    An ozone alert is in effect Monday and an air-quality action day will be in effect for Tuesday. Channel 9 meteorologists have been in communication with air-quality forecasters based out of Raleigh.
    Conditions on Monday have been in the yellow range which is between 50 and 100.
    The forecasters are concerned the number could get over 100 at any of the reporting stations around Charlotte.

    For current air quality conditions in Meclenburg County, click here.
    The two major factors that affect the ozone are weather and pollution.
    Rebecca Long's trip to the park was cut short because her daughter Amethyst has asthma.
    "We try to come out when it's in the green rather than red or orange,” Long said.
    Air quality specialist Shelley Lanham said it's time to get the word ozone back into the public’s vocabulary. 
    "We might have gotten a little complacent," Lanham said. "The weather really helped us out last year and it doesn't look like it's going to help us this year."
    This week, a large area of high pressure is building up over the Carolinas and the winds around it may be able to eventually steer storms away.
    The stronger the system gets, the more the ozone can build up.
    Conditions start at about 10,000 feet in the atmosphere but recently, air quality experts have been noticing what's been going on closer to the ground.
    Winds help air quality while low winds and dense population hurt air it.
    "Perfect conditions for ground level ozone formation," Lanham said.
    Over the past 10 years, ozone has been on the decline but it has not gone away.
    The ozone level is forecast to be high on Wednesday.

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