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Daily forecasts of air pollutant levels for the Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, and Winchester areas.

List administrator(s): Dan Salkovitz, Mike Kiss, Bobby Lute, Kristen Stumpf

Air quality forecasts for August 19, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Dan Salkovitz, (804) 698-4404 or Mike Kiss, (804) 698-4460

Air quality forecasts for August 19, 2011

More detailed information is available on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality web site at www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/.

***SMOKE FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP WILDFIRE WILL IMPACT PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARDS TO THE DENSITY OF THE SMOKE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE FIRE LOCATION (THE DISMAL SWAMP). THEREFORE, THE AIR QUALITY FORECAST IS BASED ON WHERE THE WINDS INDICATE THE PLUME MAY IMPACT, REGARDLESS OF SMOKE DENSITY.

PLUME MODELS SEEM TO INDICATE SIGNIFICANT SMOKE AFFECTS MAY OCCUR OVER AN AREA EXTENDING FROM THE FIRE NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH HAMPTON ROADS AND NORFOLK INTO THE NORTHERN NECK AND OVER THE EASTERN SHORE. ANY PRECIPITATION THAT MAY OCCUR TOMORROW WILL HELP TO MITIGATE SMOKE IMPACTS.

FOR TONIGHT THROUGH TOMORROW: CODE PURPLE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE CITY OF SUFFOLK. OCCASIONAL CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE COUNTIES/CITIES OF SOUTHAMPTON, ISLE OF WIGHT, SUFFOLK, NEWPORT NEWS, HAMPTON, POQUOSON, SURRY, YORK, PORTSMOUTH, CHESAPEAKE, AND NORFOLK. CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITES: ACCOMACK, NORTHAMPTON, CHARLES CITY CO., JAMES CITY CO., KING AND QUEEN, MIDDLESEX, ESSEX, MATHEWS, GLOUCESTER, LANCASTER, RICHMOND COUNTY, WESTMORELAND, AND NORTHUMBERLAND.***

THIS FORECAST MAY BE UPDATED FRIDAY MORNING PENDING CONDITIONS.

Hampton Roads
Color Code: Red - Unhealthy air quality (Code Purple - Very Unhealthy air quality for the City of Suffolk)
Primary Pollutant: Particle pollution

Richmond
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Roanoke
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Winchester
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Particle pollution

Health Information
Code Orange: Active children and adults, and people with heart or lung disease (including asthma) should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Red: Active children and adults should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Purple: Active children and adults should avoid prolonged strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), and older adults should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities.

High air pollution levels can impair breathing, cause lung damage, coughing and eye irritation and put extra strain on the heart. Air pollution also can aggravate asthma, bronchitis or emphysema.

SMOKE INFORMATION:
Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment (visibility 1 to 3 miles), air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment (visibility 1 mile or less), air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

Dan Salkovitz
Meteorologist
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4404
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/assessments

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Smoke forecast update, Thursday morning, August 18th

Media reports, social media reports and various web cams are indicating the Dismal Swamp smoke plume is impacting the Peninsula (York County, Newport News, Hampton, and Poquoson). As a result, the air quality forecast is updated to Code Red for those areas. In addition the following counties/cities may experience Code Orange conditions: Northampton, Accomac, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Portsmouth.

Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

Air quality forecasts for August 18, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Dan Salkovitz, (804) 698-4404 or Mike Kiss, (804) 698-4460

Air quality forecasts for August 18, 2011

More detailed information is available on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality web site at www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/.

***SMOKE FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP WILDFIRE WILL IMPACT PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARDS TO THE INTENSITY OF THE SMOKE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE FIRE LOCATION (THE DISMAL SWAMP). THEREFORE, THE AIR QUALITY FORECAST IS BASED ON WHERE THE WINDS INDICATE THE PLUME MAY IMPACT, REGARDLESS OF SMOKE INTENSITY. PLUME MODELS SEEM TO INDICATE SIGNIFICANT SMOKE AFFECTS MAY OCCUR OVER A LARGE AREA. ANY PRECIPITATION THAT MAY OCCUR TOMORROW WILL HELP TO MITIGATE SMOKE IMPACTS.

FOR TONIGHT THROUGH 8:00 AM TOMORROW: OCCASIONAL CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN SUFFOLK AND THE COUNTIES OF SOUTHAMPTON AND ISLE OF WIGHT OVERNIGHT. OCCASIONAL CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITES: GREENSVILLE, SUSSEX, SURRY, DINWIDDIE, PETERSBURG, HOPEWELL, COLONIAL HEIGHTS, PRINCE GEORGE, CITY OF RICHMOND, CHARLES CITY COUNTY, CHESTERFIELD, AMELIA, POWHATAN, HENRICO, HANOVER AND NEW KENT.

FOR THURSDAY: CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN SUFFOLK AND ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY THROUGH TOMORROW EVENING. OCCASIONAL CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITIES: SOUTHAMPTON, GREENSVILLE, SUSSEX, SURRY, PETERSBURG, HOPEWELL, COLONIAL HEIGHTS, PRINCE GEORGE, CITY OF RICHMOND, CHARLES CITY COUNTY, CHESTERFIELD, HENRICO, CAROLINE, KING WILLIAM, JAMES CITY COUNTY, KING AND QUEEN, ESSEX, WESTMORELAND, RICHMOND COUNTY, NORTHUMBERLAND, LANCASTER, HANOVER AND NEW KENT.***

THIS FORECAST MAY BE UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING PENDING CONDITIONS.

Hampton Roads
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Particle pollution

Richmond
Color Code: Orange - Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air quality
Primary Pollutant: Particle pollution

Roanoke
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Winchester
Color Code: Yellow - Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Particle pollution

Health Information
Code Orange: Active children and adults, and people with heart or lung disease (including asthma) should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Red: Active children and adults should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Purple: Active children and adults should avoid prolonged strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), and older adults should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities.

High air pollution levels can impair breathing, cause lung damage, coughing and eye irritation and put extra strain on the heart. Air pollution also can aggravate asthma, bronchitis or emphysema.

SMOKE INFORMATION:
Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

Dan Salkovitz
Meteorologist
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4404
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/assessments

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Delayed forecast issuance today

The air quality forecasts for Thursday will be issued by 3:30 pm.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm

SPECIAL MORNING UPDATE: August 17, 2011

A thick smoke plume has created very poor visibility in southern parts of the city of Suffolk and parts of the counties of Southampton and Isle of Wight. Code Orange air quality conditions will occur the remainder of the day in those areas. Code Red/Purple conditions are occasionally possible in areas with the thickest smoke, notably along Routes 13 and 32.
The smoke plume can be seen clearly on satellite images this morning:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/vis-l.jpg
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/flash-vis.html

Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment (1 to 3 miles), air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment (less than 1 mile), air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 9:08 am