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Air Quality Forecasting

Current Air Quality Index and Forecasts By Region

The current estimated air quality index (AQI) and forecasts by region can be found on the DEQ air quality data page, as well as

Sign up to receive daily Air Quality Forecasts and Health Alerts by email.

For the Washington, DC metro area, sign up on Enviroflash to receive Air Quality Forecasts and Action Day Health Alert Notifications.

Air Quality Forecasts are typically issued daily. Health Alerts are issued when the current estimated AQI indicates unhealthy conditions.

Air quality forecast questions can be sent to Dan Salkovitz, Kristen Stumpf, or Mike Kiss.

Air Quality Data

Requests for air quality data can be made by contacting Namita Verma at the DEQ Office of Air Quality Monitoring.

Air Quality History - Ozone at Unhealthy Levels

About Air Quality

Virginia DEQ monitors level of ozone and particle pollution from stations around Virginia. Both of these are pollutants that, at high levels, may raise health concerns in some people.

Ground-level ozone is the main ingredient in smog. It is a colorless gas formed by the reaction of sunlight with vehicle emissions, gasoline fumes, solvent vapors, and power plant and industrial emissions. Ozone formation is most likely in hot, dry weather when the air is fairly still.

Particle pollution monitoring is now available on the web for select areas in Virginia. Particle pollution is made up of particles found in soot, dust, smoke, and fumes. The burning of coal, oil, diesel, and other fuels produces these particles. The particles are small enough to enter deep into the lungs and cause health problems.

Ozone and particle pollution have been linked to short-term health concerns, particularly among children, asthmatics, people with heart or lung disease, and older adults. The effects of these pollutants can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise when levels are high. You can use the forecast for the following day to plan your activities during the summer months. More information on the health effects of air pollutants is available from AirNow.

What Can I Do?

  • Be aware. Keep an eye on the pollutant levels and forecasts for your area.
  • When levels are high, stay inside if you can. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Help keep pollutant levels low by avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption. Use carpools and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Avoid the use of any other gasoline engines, such as mowers and other lawn equipment, or boat motors.
  • Save power by turning off lights and appliances when they are not needed.
  • Avoid burning yard debris or brush.

For More Information

Regional Air Quality Action Programs

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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