3:30 PM FEB. 3, 2017
VERNON - Environment Canada has rescinded the air quality statement issued yesterday, Feb. 2, for the North Okanagan.
Air quality meteorologist Tarek Ayach says spring-like conditions followed by cold weather were to blame for the large amount of dust in the air.
4:30 PM FEB. 02, 2017
VERNON - Unseasonably spring-like conditions, followed by a spell of cold weather, conspired to create a large amount of dust in the air around Vernon.
Air quality meteorologist Tarek Ayache says the current dust advisory over Vernon isn’t very common at this time of year.
“It is a bit unusual,” Ayache says.
He says the recent snow melt exposed roads and led to traffic stirring up a significant amount of dust. When the mercury dipped back down again, cold, stagnant air trapped the dust.
“We expect this when we get an early spring,” Ayache says.
Typically, dusty conditions aren’t observed until late February or early March when the snow melts.
Vernon isn’t alone, and Ayache says several other advisories have been issued around the province for the same reason.
Precipitation is what’s needed to clear up the dusty conditions, and luckly for Vernon residents, that’s in the forecast for Friday, Feb. 3.
“That’s definitely going to help things,” Ayache says.
There was an air quality advisory issued in Lavington last month, but that was likely due to smoke.
People with chronic underlying medical conditions are being told to postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. You can reduce exposure by staying indoors and in air-conditioned places.
- This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 3 to include new information from Environment Canada.
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