Today is the official start to what we call our "Aircast", which is an air quality forecast for theSt. Louis area. Again this year we're proud to be the storm team chosen to create your air quality forecast, which updates in the mid to late afternoon on KMOV.com or will be featured in our evening weathercasts.
This year we will begin incorporating particulate matter (dust and small particulates), however once again it will be low level ozone that is the main culprit in creating hazardous conditions, especially for children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems like asthma. However, there will be some afternoons when even healthy adults exerting themselves on a hot summer day can feel the affects of low level ozone like shortness of breath and irritation of the lungs.
This year the EPA created a stricter guidelines, so we will likely see more days in the category we refer to as "orange" which is unhealthy for people with special needs (like asthmatics, children and the elderly). And above orange is the red level, which means air quality is unhealthy for all groups.