A study from the University of Tennessee suggests the Tennessee Valley could experience more intense summer heat waves. A hotter summer could mean more air pollution for the Chattanooga area.
Amber Boles, spokeswoman for Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau said, "Generally if we see hotter temperatures, we are more than likely going to see higher ozone." The three main ingredients conducive to increased ozone are high solar intensity, low humidity and high temperatures. Boles said, "If all three of those ingredients are in place then we are more than likely going to see higher ozone which means that air quality is going to be affected in Chattanooga."
And a lot of ozone means breathing trouble for people with sensitive lungs. Boles said, "Especially if you are an active adult or someone with asthma or someone with lung disease you are probably going to have a harder time breathing when you are outdoors." WDEF's Chief Meteorologist Patrick Core says it isn't a major cause for concern just yet. Core said, "Weather forecasting is hard enough seven days out, but when you are talking three to four months its just a guide or a trend, and sometimes an outlook, and those outlooks can change by the month."
If a hotter summer does verify, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau says their pollution solution program and tv meteorologists will announce when an unhealthy air quality level is predicted. Boles said, "We take it day by day. We monitor air quality levels daily and we will continue to monitor those throughout the year and we will watch that. If we see something that concerns us we will let the public know." Information regarding pollution solution can be found at pollutionsolution.org. A daily air quality report can be obtained by phone at 423-643-5971.