Smog Alert: Halton-Peel & Southwestern Ontario Regions Aug.3, 2012

Smog Alert: Halton-Peel & Southwestern Ontario Aug.3, 2012
Smog Alert: Halton-Peel & Southwestern Ontario Aug.3, 2012

A SMOG ADVISORY* has been issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the following forecast regions for August 3, 2012:

  • City of Hamilton
  • Dunnville-Caledonia-Haldimand
  • Elgin
  • Halton-Peel
  • Huron-Perth
  • London-Middlesex
  • Niagara
  • Oxford-Brant
  • Sarnia-Lambton
  • Simcoe-Delhi-Norfolk
  • Waterloo-Wellington
  • Windsor-Essex-Chatham-Kent
Smog Alert: Halton-Peel & Southwestern Ontario Aug.3, 2012
Smog Alert: Halton-Peel & Southwestern Ontario Aug.3, 2012

Hot and sunny conditions with light south to southeasterly winds are resulting in elevated smog levels across parts of southern Ontario.

This smog 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.

The details of the smog forecast are as follows:

  • During Friday:
    • A high pressure ridge over northern Ontario is causing light north to northeasterly winds over most regions, except for light south to southeasterly winds over southern regions south of a weakening frontal zone over southern Ontario.
    • Partly sunny skies and temperatures above seasonal values are expected over most regions with scattered precipitation possible during the afternoon over some southern and eastern regions.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to:
      • increase to the poor category in some southern Ontario regions due to ozone
      • be in the good to moderate categories elsewhere in southern and eastern Ontario
      • remain in the good category elsewhere in eastern, central and northern regions
  • During Saturday:
    • A warm front is forecast to move northward over southern Ontario.
    • Sunny skies are forecast with hot temperatures, high humidity and light south to southeasterly winds.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the:
      • moderate to poor categories in the smog advisory regions
      • good to moderate categories elsewhere across the province
  • During Sunday:
    •  A cold front is forecast to move eastward across the Great Lakes region and over southern Ontario later in the afternoon.
    • Cloudy skies with scattered precipitation are forecast with increasing south to southwesterly winds ahead of the front, followed by winds veering to northwesterly over northwestern forecast regions during the afternoon following passage of the front.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the:
      • good to moderate categories in southern and eastern regions
      • (generally) 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

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Please click here for more info about smog.


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