A SMOG ADVISORY* has been issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the following forecast regions for Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, 2012:
- City of Hamilton
- City of Toronto
- Parry Sound-Muskoka-Huntsville
A smog advisory is in effect for Southern Ontario and parts of Central Ontario.
* 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.
- 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.
The details of the smog forecast are as follows:
- During Saturday:
- Hot, sunny conditions with light southerly winds blowing air pollution from the U.S. into parts of southern Ontario, combined with stagnant weather conditions allowing local build-up of pollutants are resulting in elevated smog levels across southern and parts of central Ontario.
- Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the good to moderate categories during Saturday across the province due to ozone.
- During Sunday:
- A high pressure ridge over the eastern US and a strengthening low pressure trough west of the Great Lakes are forecasted to cause a southwesterly flow of very warm and increasingly humid air over southern Ontario.
- Sunny skies with very warm temperatures are forecasted over all of the forecast regions, except for some cloudiness remaining over eastern regions.
- Sunday’s air quality indices are forecasted to increase to the moderate to poor categories in the smog advisory regions in southern and central Ontario.
- During Monday:
- Hot and humid conditions with south to southwesterly winds and mostly sunny skies are forecasted over most regions, except for increasing cloudiness over southern Ontario ahead of an upper level weather disturbance forecast to move northward over the southern Great Lakes region.
- Monday’s air quality indices are forecasted to increase to the moderate to poor categories in the smog advisory regions in southern and central Ontario.
- Sunday’s and Monday’s air quality indices are forecasted to be in the good to moderate categories elsewhere.
Please note that advisories will remain in effect until further notice.
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
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
- 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
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