Monday , March 4 2024

Valley Air Is Dismal This Week – Why Don’t All Air Measurements Tell Us That?

On Monday, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a warning of unhealthy air conditions due to wildfire smoke from Northern California , an alert it repeated on Wednesday. Why then, for days, were online air monitors showing relatively healthy air? It’s the result of the size of the particulate matter blowing into the Valley, but also the level of information that air authorities share with the public. Since late last week, smoke blown south from the Kincade Fire and dust kicked up by strong winds have turned the sky in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley a murky brownish gray. “We basically have a perfect storm of unusual circumstances that is making the air quality very unusual for the Valley,” says air district spokesperson Jaime Holt. And yet, over the weekend and into the earlier part of the week, both regulatory air monitors with the air district and consumer monitors by the citizen science company Purple Air were registering moderate, even mild conditions.

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