Air pollution district launches hourly updates on its website
Rainy winter months usually bring a bit of a reprieve for the most polluted air in the country, but historically dry months in December and this month have left Valley air pollution levels climbing even higher.
The nearly two-month dry spell since one-third of an inch of rain fell Nov. 20 means there has been no chance to wash away the haze of particulate matter in the air. The region’s air quality has violated the federal health standard for nearly 40 days straight.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District unveiled its new RealTime Air Advisory Network (RAAN) pollution monitoring system just after Christmas to provide more detailed daily reports on air quality by the hour. The usual air quality forecast model provided information on the following day’s air quality, but during a given day hourly readings can jump significantly higher.
The system gives users the ability to check current air quality conditions. This can be particularly helpful for people most affected by the poor air —those with asthma, children and the elderly — when planning outdoor activities...