Bad air a concern for the rest of the week as temperatures rise - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bad air a concern for the rest of the week as temperatures rise

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An air quality alert was issued for parts of the state due to Wednesday's forecasted high temperatures.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said elevated ozone levels will create unhealthy air for sensitive groups.

Its forecast runs through May 28 for southern Fairfield, southern New Haven, southern Middlesex and southern New London counties.

“As Connecticut prepares for Memorial Day weekend and temperatures begin to warm up this week, we are expecting air quality that could impact our most susceptible residents, including children, the elderly and those with respiratory disease such as asthma,” said Commissioner Rob Klee. “If you do venture out to one of our beautiful state parks or forests this weekend, I hope everyone will do their part to help improve air quality by car-pooling and arriving early.”

Meteorologist Scot Haney said highs in the 80s were expected at least through Saturday.

"The combination of mostly sunny skies and a westerly flow will send temperatures soaring into 80s [Wednesday]," Haney said. "Some locations, like Hartford and Windsor Locks, could easily reach 87 or 88 degrees."

Thursday will be similar. On Friday, a warm front will stall north of the state, raising humidity levels a tad.

Then, temperatures could reach 90 on Saturday, according to Haney.

Read more on the technical discussion here.

DEEP said bad ozone primarily happens during warm summer days.

Strong chemical reactions of air pollutants emitted from vehicles, power plants and industry and household activities form the ozone. Warmer temperatures bring up high levels of ground-level ozone.

Unhealthy concentrations of it can lead to or worsen respiratory and other health problems like difficulty breathing, coughing and throat irritation. It can also worsen asthma episodes.

Peak ozone levels can happen between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to DEEP.

DEEP recommended:

  • Conserving electricity
  • Using energy-intensive appliances like washing machines and dishwashers after 8 p.m.
  • Refueling lawn mowers and cutting grass before noon
  • Carpooling
  • Telecommuting
  • Refueling vehicles after dusk and never idle

For weather updates on smartphones and tablets, click here.

On Wednesday, people took advantage of the warm weather and took a trip to the beach.

Dozens of people were seen at Ocean Beach in New London on Thursday, as temperatures soared.

"I think it's peaceful, relaxing, it's clean that's what I like about it," said Jarilyn Monell, of Waterbury.

"First warm day. We're out of college trying to celebrate and stay out," said Maddie Haynes of Willimantic.

The water is still too cold for swimming, and officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it will take weeks for the water to warm up.

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