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Southwest PA Ozone/PM2.5 Forecast

Small map of Pennsylvania showing counties involved in the sw partnership.
Forecasted AQI for Ozone Air Quality Index Scale Forecasted AQI for PM2.5
January 30, 2015

 

Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
Action Day?:  No
Temperature: Mid 20s (AM), Mid 10s (PM)
Discussion:
On Friday, expect cloudy skies to persist over the region as the clipper system, which was still over the Ohio Valley on Thursday, finally pushes through the region. As it moves through, we could experience an isolated snow shower. Once through, the winds will turn out of the northwest, which, in turn, will force colder and drier air southward across our region. Temperatures should peak in the 20s during the morning before falling into the 10s during the afternoon. The strong winds (which will help drive wind chills into the single digits) will provide an adequate mixing environment to drop PM 2.5 levels well within the good category.

Extended:
Over the coming days, expect temperatures to remain below seasonable levels as a series of storm systems impact the area. These colder temperatures are driven by the pattern that is taking shape over the northern Atlantic. A ridge of high pressure is going to be the dominant feature in the northern Atlantic Ocean as it begins to extend its influence into Greenland. This ridge has already begun to filter much of the colder air in the Northern Hemisphere into our side of the poll. Impulses of this cold, which is centered across eastern Canada, will infiltrate our area in the coming days. Overall back home, we will continue to see storminess as the pattern remains active. Once the clipper system moves off to our east, we will see a new area of high pressure build in over the Northeastern US. This high will move east during the weekend just as a new storm system takes shape over the central Plains (from an upper level disturbance moving out of the southwestern US). This storm system will spread east on Sunday into Monday and spread snow in its path. Once the storm moves off to our east, a new area of high pressure will build in over the Plains and deliver a reinforcing shot of cold air to our region through mid week. Overall, air quality levels are expected to be their highest on Sunday due to the combination of increasing humidity (with the approaching storm) and temperatures (in advance of the storm). Otherwise, levels should remain within the good range. --Nolan

 

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