Smog Alert: Southern, Central & Parts of Northern and Eastern Ontario June 20, 2012

Smog Alert: Southern, Central & Parts of Northern and Eastern Ontario June 20, 2012

A SMOG ADVISORY* has been issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the following forecast regions for Wednesday, June 20, 2012:

  • Bancroft-Bon Echo
  • Barrie-Orillia-Midland
  • Belleville-Quinte-Northumberland
  • Brockville-Leeds and Grenville
  • Burk’s Falls-Bayfield Inlet
  • City of Hamilton
  • City of Toronto
  • Dufferin-Innisfil
  • Dunnville-Caledonia-Haldimand
  • Elgin
  • Elliot Lake-Ranger Lake
  • Greater Sudbury and Vicinity
  • Grey-Bruce
  • Haliburton
  • Halton-Peel
  • Huron-Perth
  • Kingston-Prince Edward
  • London-Middlesex
  • Manitoulin-Northshore-Killarney
  • Niagara
  • North Bay-West Nipissing
  • Oxford-Brant
  • Parry Sound-Muskoka-Huntsville
  • Peterborough-Kawartha Lakes
  • Sarnia-Lambton
  • Simcoe-Delhi-Norfolk
  • Stirling-Tweed-South Frontenac
  • Waterloo-Wellington
  • Windsor-Essex-Chatham-Kent
  • York-Durham
Smog Alert: Southern, Central & Parts of Northern and Eastern Ontario June 20, 2012

Smog Alert: Southern, Central & Parts of Northern and Eastern Ontario June 20, 2012

A smog advisory is in effect for Southern, Central, Mostly Northern & Parts of Eastern Ontario June 20, 2012.

  • This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

* A Smog Advisory means that there is a strong likelihood that there may be poor air quality within the next 24 hours due to ground-level ozone and/or particulate matter.

The Air Quality Index (AQI):

  • It is an indicator of air quality, based on air pollutants  that have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
    • Smog is harmful to the lungs and heart.
    • Even in healthy people, smog can reduce lung function.

  • A Smog Advisory is related to the Air Quality Index (AQI), which rates how clean the air is.
    • The AQI scale ranges from 0 to 100+.
    • Higher numbers mean higher health risks.
    • A Smog Advisory is issued in your region when the AQI is expected to reach 50 in the next 24 hours.
    • It can be lifted once the AQI is expected to reach or drops below 50.
  • Smog is made up of a complex mixture of air pollutants that are sometimes visible, such as a brownish-yellow haze over cities; sometimes not.

Hot, sunny conditions, combined with a southwesterly flow of polluted air from the U.S. and local build-up of pollutants are resulting in elevated smog levels across southern, central, and parts of northern and eastern Ontario.

The details of the smog forecast are as follows:

  • During Wednesday:
    • A high pressure ridge over the eastern US is causing a southwesterly flow of warm and humid air over southern Ontario
    • Mostly sunny skies and hot temperatures are forecasted over most of the forecast regions with southwesterly winds, except for some cloudiness over eastern and northwestern regions
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to:
      • increase to the poor category in the smog advisory regions, due to ozone
      • be in the good to moderate categories elsewhere
  • During Thursday:
    •  A cold front is forecasted to move eastward across northern Ontario during the morning, and over southern Ontario during the afternoon.
    • The forecast expecations are:
      • hot and humid conditions are forecast to continue over most regions with southwesterly winds during the morning ahead of the front
      • followed by winds veering to west to northwesterly during the afternoon
      • and increasing cloudiness is expected near the front
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to:
      • increase to the poor category in the smog advisory regions due to ozone
      • be in the good to moderate categories elsewhere
  • During Friday:
    • The cold front is forecasted to be east of the province
    • And a high pressure region is forecasted to be west of the Great Lakes
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be:
      • in the good to moderate categories in southern and eastern Ontario
      • generally in the good category elsewhere

During the smog episode, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  • eye irritation
  • heavy outdoor exercise may cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath
  • people with heart or lung disease including asthma may experience a worsening of their condition

Please click here for details on air quality in Ontario.

Spare the Air Actions

During a smog advisory, there are a number of actions that you can take to help spare the air.

Travel tips – all year round:

  • leave your car at home – walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit
  • tele-conference instead of driving to meetings
  • limit car trips by doing all your errands at once, and do not let your engine idle
  • keep your car well tuned, check your tire pressure and drive at moderate speeds

Health tips:

  • avoid exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes
  • consult your doctor for specific health advice
  • wear light clothing at work while air conditioning is reduced
  • avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day

Electricity saving tips:

  • save electricity at home by setting your air conditioner temperature a few degrees higher (health permitting) and
  • turning off lights you are not using

Other pollution reduction tips:

  • leave lawn mowing for another day
  • restrict the use of gasoline-powered equipment
  • delay using oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners

Please click on the following text to:

Please click here for more info about smog.

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