Poor Air Quality…Relief Coming

August is coming to an end and in true August style its a very hot end, but just in time for the new month some heat relief is on the way. An approaching front will bring a few showers and thunderstorms, but it will also leave behind some slightly cooler  and drier air. That more refreshing air mass will last through much of the holiday weekend.

Until we get there the air will be very stagnant.  An Air Quality Alert has been issued for tomorrow.  It begins at 12midnight tonight and last through Thursday at 12midnight. A Code Orange Alert means the air will be dangerous for sensitive groups, that includes children and elderly and those with breathing problems especially asthma.


Here’s what you should do if that’s you or a loved one…

Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy.

What’s causing this…

The ground level Ozone is high.  Ozone is a colorless gas that can be good or bad, depending on where it is. Ozone in the stratosphere is good because it shields the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Ozone at ground level, where we breathe, is bad because it can harm human health.

Ozone forms when two types of pollutants (VOCs and NOx) react in sunlight. These pollutants come from sources such as vehicles, industries, power plants, and products such as solvents and paints.


How can we reduce Ground Level Ozone…

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, bike or walk
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle
  • When refueling: stop when the pump shuts off, avoid spilling fuel, and tighten your gas cap
  • Fill out up early in the morning or late in the evening

To add to breathing issues, the pollen count remains high, 10.4 tomorrow.


The good news is that a cold front will help wash away this bad ozone and the pollen. Tomorrow will be hot and sticky with a high in the 90s, but the front brings some rain and thunderstorms tomorrow late afternoon and evening.Here’s what futurecast is showing now.

WSMV RPM 4KM WxType Stationary1WSMV RPM 4KM WxType Stationary2WSMV RPM 4KM WxType Stationary3WSMV RPM 4KM WxType Stationary4

Some of the showers will linger into early Thursday. The drier and cooler air moves in later Thursday.  Much more refreshing air remains Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Fall is just around the corner.

I’ll have a weather update on Channel 4 News at 5pm, 6pm…Dan Thomas has the latest at 6:30pm and I’ll be back at 10pm.

Lisa Spencer

posted 4:30pm




About Lisa Spencer

Lisa Spencer is the chief meteorologist at WSMV Channel 4 Nashville. You can catch her weathercasts weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm and 10pm.
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