The D-N-R says a stagnant weather pattern is keeping more than the usual number of pollution particles in the air, triggering Wisconsin's first air-quality advisory of the season.
Asthmatics and people with heart and other breathing conditions are most susceptible to the pollutants in the air, says Donalea Dinsmore, air monitoring specialist with the DNR. She says young children and the elderly are also at risk. Less than great air-quality is not just a problem with the south/southeastern part of our state, Dinsmore says it can happen anywhere in Wisconsin as power plants, factories, vehicle emissions, and open burning contribute to the pollution.
Dinsmore says generally speaking, the air-quality issues are due to a combination of pollution and lousy weather patterns. She describes how an air mass comes up from an area with dirty air, in combination with a light breeze, warm temps and humid conditions. All of those factors, Dinsmore says, are the precursors to the formation of ozone and fine particles.
Nine counties in southern Wisconsin were under an air-quality watch Wednesday, later changed to an advisory. Dinsmore says the DNR could issue another watch for Thursday for the same counties plus a couple more.
The counties in the watch area Wednesday included Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Sauk, Washington, and Waukesha. Thursday that could include Kewaunee and Brown Counties.
Watch=conditions are right for air quality to reach unhealthy levels.
Advisory=unhealthy levels are already here.