Code Red

The Metropolitan Washington COG is indicating a code red AQI forecast for today, with ozone being the primary pollutant. Weather conditions that favor such a forecast include:

  • Hot (mid 90s to 100s), hazy, and humid
  • Stagnant air, little or no wind
  • Little chance of rain
  • Stationary high pressure system with sunny skies

Check, check, check, check. I always thought red (unhealthy) was as bad as it gets. Oh no, there are purple (very unhealthy) and maroon (hazardous) above that. More information about AQI can be found at the EPA AIRNow Web site.

You can help by leaving your car at home and use mass transit, if you can stand the heat. On certain Metrobus routes in Maryland and Virginia, rides are free today. You will know you’re boarding one when you see the red bag placed over the fare box.

The unusually hot and humid weather will peak today, with temperatures hitting and possibly exceeding 100 degrees. BWI hit 100 yesterday, breaking a record set in 1933. The demands for power are also at all-time highs, each day thus far breaking the record set the day before. Setting your thermostat even a degree or two higher helps.

I usually loathe cold fronts from Canada. Bring it on Canucks, bring it on.

2 Comments so far

  1. Taylor (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

    we had a code purple ozone day in atlanta a couple of years ago when i lived there. just one, though. lots of code reds.

  2. Doug (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    Is the smog really that bad in Atlanta? I know they get plenty of heat. I was there in the summer once and it was not pleasant. What do you do on a code purple day, stay home with a gas mask on you face?

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