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DEP declares statewide Code Orange Alert for July 17

DEP Declares Statewide Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Fine Particulate Matter for July 17, 2023

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a statewide Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter July 17, 2023, in Pennsylvania.

Smoke from wildfires is expected to impact Pennsylvania air quality throughout the day and will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Monday. On an hourly basis, a number of locations may see a rise in concentrations that are at levels in the lower end of the Code Red/Unhealthy range for several hours. Residents are encouraged to check www.airnow.gov for current conditions in their area.

On a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day, young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

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DEP declares Code Orange alert for ozone on July 6

DEP Declares Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Ozone for July 6, 2023 in Lehigh Valley-Berks Area and Susquehanna Valley Area

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Thursday, Jul 6
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Thursday, Jul 6:101 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsOzone
 60 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EDT this Wednesday afternoon, skies were mostly sunny across the region with temperatures moving into the lower 90s. Ozone continues to develop near the ground, and most locations will have maximum concentrations reach the moderate range. With limited mixing, fine particulate (PM2.5) will also reach moderate levels. The heat is expected to continue through the day Thursday, with a slow cooling trend beginning Friday. A more unsettled weather regime is likely to occur over the weekend, with increasing chances for showers and thunderstorms. The increasing convective activity will keep ozone and PM2.5 levels down in the moderate range by Saturday. Now, here are the forecast details: *** Thursday’s forecast: An Air Quality Action Day is in effect for Thursday! Partly to mostly sunny and hot with ozone developing rapidly in the late morning and afternoon, with code ORANGE concentrations in parts of the area. A thunderstorm will also develop in parts of the area during the late afternoon. Fine particles will again average moderate, with the highest levels coming during the morning as an inversion is expected.

* This air quality forecast was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

* Current air quality monitoring data for the Susquehanna Valley Area and other locations across Pennsylvania can be found at the EPA’s AirNow Interactive Map.

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DEP extends Code Red Air Quality Alert to June 29

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Thursday, Jun 29
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Thursday, Jun 29:178 AQIUnhealthyParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 85 AQIModerateOzone
Extended Forecast
Friday, Jun 30:100 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 93 AQIModerateOzone

Current Conditions as of 2 PM on Wednesday: A departing area of low pressure and an area of high pressure building over the region have created conditions that are transporting smoke southward from wildfires in eastern Canada into the region. As a result, air quality conditions have become quite poor across the area since early this morning. Unfortunately, unhealthy levels of air quality will continue Thursday and at least early Friday before unsettled weather returns to help at least temporarily improve conditions through the weekend. *** Thursday’s Forecast: Wildfire smoke will continue to blanket the region on Thursday leading to another day with unhealthy levels of air quality. Warmer air lifting northward aloft will contribute to the development of another overnight temperature inversion. How strong this inversion becomes will be dependent on how cool overnight temperatures at the surface become. High pressure will provide minimal cloud cover which is typically favorable for better radiational cooling during the overnight hours. A layer of wildfire smoke, however, can sometimes act like a blanket of cloud cover over the region, thus limiting that radiational cooling to some degree. Whether it is a strong inversion or weak inversion that develops tonight, the result will still be unhealthy levels of air quality with concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) remaining elevated. Winds look to be light for the day so even after the temperature inversion breaks during the morning hours mixing will be very limited. A CODE RED Air Quality Action Day is declared for Thursday for PM-2.5 due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires. 

* Current air quality monitoring data for the Susquehanna Valley Area and other locations across Pennsylvania can be found at the EPA’s AirNow Interactive Map.
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DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for June 28 & 29

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Wednesday, Jun 28 and Thursday, Jun 29
 
Today and Tomorrow’s Forecast
Wednesday, Jun 28:175 AQIUnhealthyParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 38 AQIGoodOzone
Thursday, Jun 29:125 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 42 AQIGoodOzone

Wednesday Morning Update: The wildfire smoke has progressed further east overnight faster than models have been projecting, resulting in the higher concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) reaching the area from the northwest earlier on Wednesday earlier than expected. The forecast has been upgraded to a CODE RED Air Quality Action Day. *** Wednesday’s Forecast: High pressure begins to build over the region on Wednesday as the low-pressure system that brought showers and thunderstorms the last few days slides off to the north and east. This will lead to a decrease in cloud cover by late in the day. The arrival of some wildfire smoke on a northwesterly breeze will lead to an increase in concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM-2.5), however. The area between the departing low and the arriving high will transport the wildfire smoke from the eastern Canadian fires that have been burning all month into the region. Air quality conditions may rapidly deteriorate at times. A CODE RED Air Quality Action Day for PM-2.5 has been declared for Wednesday. Concentrations will rise during the morning hours with the highest hourly concentrations expected to occur late in the day as the smoke continues to advance south and eastward. Residents are encouraged to check www.airnow.gov to see current conditions and the recommendations that go along with those conditions. With mostly cloudy conditions early and decreasing clouds later along with the haze from the smoke, ozone formation will be limited to keep concentrations in the good range. *** Extended Outlook: Dry conditions will continue Thursday. A warm front trying to lift north will turn the flow to more southerly during the evening hours. Continuation of northwesterly to westerly flow early in the day will allow for elevated PM-2.5 concentrations to linger into Thursday. It is looking likely that an Air Quality Action Day for at least CODE ORANGE will be declared for Thursday. Development of these conditions for Thursday will be monitored throughout the day on Wednesday with a forecast update by Wednesday afternoon. Even with mostly sunny skies, haze from the wildfire smoke will likely continue to limit ozone formation for Thursday. Air quality conditions are expected to begin improving late Friday into Saturday as more unsettled weather looks to return for the weekend. — Roble

 Current air quality monitoring data for the Susquehanna Valley Area and other locations across Pennsylvania can be found at the EPA’s AirNow Interactive Map.
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DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for June 17

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Saturday, Jun 17
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Saturday, Jun 17:101 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 56 AQIModerateOzone
Extended Forecast
Sunday, Jun 18:68 AQIModerateOzone
 65 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Monday, Jun 19:73 AQIModerateOzone
 55 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Tuesday, Jun 20:70 AQIModerateOzone
 55 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Wednesday, Jun 21:60 AQIModerateOzone
 55 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)


Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EDT this Friday afternoon, a low pressure system moving through the state was bringing plenty of cloudiness to the region as well as a couple of showers and thunderstorms. Ozone concentrations have been held to the good range, and PM2.5 has also been lowered some by the rainfall, mostly down inside the good range. Wildfire smoke will continue to be a concern over the next several days, and the air quality situation will continue to be monitored through the weekend. With increasing sunshine and warmer air, especially Sunday into Monday, ozone concentrations will also be a concern. Here are the forecast details: *** Saturday’s forecast: An upper level low pressure system over New England Saturday will bring breezy northwest winds to the area with more sunshine. Ozone levels will rise, and be at the low end of the moderate range. With wildfire smoke still coming in from Ontario, and with the latest smoke models showing some near surface smoke, PM2.5 will rise to the low code ORANGE range, with highest concentrations during the morning. **
* This air quality forecast was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

* Current air quality monitoring data for the Susquehanna Valley Area and other locations across Pennsylvania can be found at the EPA’s AirNow Interactive Map.
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DEP extends Air Quality alert to Friday, June 9

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Friday, Jun 9
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Jun 9:125 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 45 AQIGoodOzone
Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jun 10:100 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 55 AQIModerateOzone

Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Thursday, the word of the day continues to be smoke, thanks to the ongoing forest fire situation across eastern Canada. The smoke that has infiltrated the Commonwealth continues to make its presence felt in terms of our air quality. As expected, the poor air quality conditions from this morning have reversed coarse somewhat. As the morning went along and the inversion, which helped to trap the high levels of PM 2.5 near the ground for a good portion of the morning hours, broke, the winds began to pick up as more vertical mixing occurred. The winds, in turn, forced PM 2.5 levels to drop drastically from the values recorded this morning. However, we are not completely out of the woods yet (pun not attended here). Over the past couple of hours, PM 2.5 levels have leveled off, resulting in more Code ORANGE – Code RED conditions instead of Code PURPLE conditions. For the rest of today, winds are not expected to increase drastically. Therefore, some level of smoke will still remain over the region. Then an inversion sets up shop this evening thereby keeping PM 2.5 concentrations in the Code RED range for today. In addition to PM 2.5, we are watching ozone, as levels have risen over the past few hours. That is the benefit of the thinning smoke signature allowing more sunshine and more photochemistry to occur. Expect continual improvements in the air quality tomorrow. *** Friday’s Forecast: So for Friday, expect the worse air quality conditions to persist during the morning hours as the smoke, which remained in place Thursday evening, carries over into the Friday morning. The plume that will be residing over the area will not be as dense as the one existing over the region on Thursday morning. Therefore, we do not expect PM 2.5 levels to be as high. Then, later in the day, the levels will drop as more mixing occurs. In addition, the threat of afternoon showers exist as a disturbance makes its way northwest to southeast across the area. These showers will also help PM 2.5 levels to drop. Afternoon temperatures will continue to be on the cooler side of normal, with highs ranging in the low 70s. It is the combination of the higher PM 2.5 that is expected during the day and the lower PM 2.5 expected during the afternoon that will help to keep PM 2.5 daily averages in the Code ORANGE range. Ozone levels will be in the good range thanks to the increased cloud cover limiting the photochemistry needed for ozone formation.
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DEP extends Air Quality Alert to Thursday, June 8

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Thursday, Jun 8
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Thursday, Jun 8:130 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 65 AQIModerateOzone
Extended Forecast
Friday, Jun 9:100 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 70 AQIModerateOzone

Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Wednesday, the skies over eastern PA remain smoke filled as we continue to feel the impacts of the forest fires in eastern Canada and the positioning of an area of low pressure over Nova Scotia, Canada and an area of high pressure over the Hudson Bay region of Canada. The northerly wind flow that has persist for much of the day continues to drive the smoky air southward across the Commonwealth. Right now, we have a very thick plume of smoke over the region. This is allowing PM2.5 levels to reach into well into the unhealthy category. Expect the worse air quality impacts to continue to persist through the evening as the winds die down in the overnight period. *** Thursday’s Forecast: So for Thursday, expect the smoky conditions that have persisted over the past two days to continue to persist through much of the day. The highest air quality levels are expected to occur during the morning hours, as the air mass that settled in Wednesday night continues to persist over our area. Expect the air quality levels to begin to drop during the day thanks to a slight transition in the overall weather pattern. The main low pressure system over Nova Scotia will begin to retrograde (i.e. move from east to west) across the eastern Canada. This westward movement will change the orientation of the winds over PA. Model guidance indicates that the plume will actually shift further to the west, thus relaxing the onslaught of smoke over eastern PA. We will keep an eye on this situation around the clock and issue an update to this forecast in the morning, if necessary. Afternoon temperatures will stay slightly below normal, with highs in the low to mid 70s. Even with the declining levels of PM 2.5 expected, overall averages should at least remain well within the Code ORANGE range. 
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DEP extends Air Quality alert to June 7

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Wednesday, Jun 7
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Wednesday, Jun 7:147 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 76 AQIModerateOzone
Extended Forecast
Thursday, Jun 8:93 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 80 AQIModerateOzone

Current Conditions as of 1 PM on Tuesday: Wildfire smoke has moved overhead from fires in Canada which has degraded the air quality across the region. Concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) remain elevated while the smoke/haze has limited ozone formation under otherwise mostly sunny skies. *** Wednesday’s Forecast: An area of low pressure centered close to Maine/Nova Scotia with high pressure to the northwest will continue the northerly flow on Wednesday. This northerly flow will bring more waves of wildfire smoke into the region over the course of the day. With the wildfires to the north continuing to be fueled by dry conditions with breezy winds, the threat of periods of elevated concentrations of PM-2.5 close to the surface will remain. An Air Quality Action Day will be declared once again for Wednesday due to the risk of hours with higher concentrations being observed. Areas where the thicker plumes manage to miss will see concentrations in the higher end of the moderate range on average for the day. With the smoke causing hazy conditions, ozone formation will again be limited. Locations with a lower density of smoke overhead will see higher amounts of sunshine reaching the surface which may allow for moderate levels of ozone concentrations to be observed. *** Extended Outlook: Similar conditions may continue Thursday so transport of the wildfire smoke with the northerly flow will continue to be monitored. At a minimum, moderate air quality is expected for both PM-2.5 and ozone concentrations. The area of low pressure will finally begin to be pushed eastward on Friday. This may not end the threat for periods of elevated concentrations due to the smoke for Friday but may at least begin a transition to an improvement in air quality conditions for the weekend. Some much-needed rainfall may even arrive for the second half of the weekend. –
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DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for May 31

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley Area, PA, on Wednesday, May 31
 
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Wednesday, May 31:130 AQIUnhealthy for Sensitive GroupsParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 58 AQIModerateOzone
Extended Forecast
Thursday, Jun 1:95 AQIModerateParticle Pollution (2.5 microns)
 78 AQIModerateOzone

Current Conditions as of 1 PM on Tuesday: Temperatures are into the mid to upper 70s this afternoon under sunny skies. High pressure will be in control of the weather for the week with a warming trend through Friday bringing some heat to the region. *** Wednesday’s Forecast: Easterly flow from the last few days will continue Wednesday. Temperatures will climb a couple degrees higher than that of Tuesday. A mix of sun and clouds early will become mostly sunny by the afternoon. Hazy conditions are expected as a plume of smoke from a large wildfire in Nova Scotia will enter the region with the easterly flow around the area of high pressure. This smoke may be close enough to the surface that we see several hours with elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM-2.5). Due to this plume being forecasted to enter the region and remain overhead and likely near the surface for several hours, concentrations may be in the Code Orange range on average for the day for a number of sites. Ozone formation will be mostly limited with the plume overhead but could still reach the moderate range. *