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Heat brings unhealthy air to Connecticut


HARTFORD - Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is forecasting unhealthy air across the state this weekend.

High temperatures are expected to reach 95-100 degrees with heat indices reaching 100-110 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Strong sunshine and high temperatures support high levels of tropospheric ozone -- otherwise known as "smog".

New Haven, as seen through the haze, from atop East Rock, Friday, July 19, 2019

“Along with high temperatures, unfortunately, we’re also expecting to see high levels of air pollution and it’s important to take appropriate precautions when ozone levels are elevated, especially during a major heat wave,” said Commissioner Katie Dykes in an agency press release. “Residents planning to spend time outdoors this weekend working or exercising should to be mindful of the effects of poor air quality and consider limiting strenuous outdoor activity.”

DEEP says under these conditions, people in sensitive groups -- such as the elderly, children, and people with asthma, lung disease, or cardiovascular disease -- are more at risk for respiratory symptoms and difficulty breathing.  And because most of the state could reach UNHEALTHY levels of ozone this weekend, even healthy children and adults should consider limiting outdoor exertion.

The very hot weather pattern will enable transported and homegrown emissions to form ozone, contributing to Connecticut’s poor air quality across the central and southern parts of the state on Friday, to all of Connecticut on Saturday and Sunday. A cold front is forecast to push off the east coast late Sunday night into early Monday. After that, ozone levels should come down.

You can access the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) forecast and real-time air quality data in several ways.

  • Follow DEEP on Twitter
  • Sign up to get Air-Quality alerts through Enviroflash
  • Visit DEEP’s AQI webpage or call 800-249-1234
  • Go to EPA’s AIRNow web page
  • Download EPA’s AIRnow app for your phone

DEEP encourages daycare providers, summer camps and elder/senior centers to subscribe to the Air Quality Index. The AQI link provides facts and information regarding ground-level ozone and what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone in your backyard.

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