Wildfires Takes Air Quality To A Historical Low

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- If you take a look outside, you can see it.

The smoke in the air remains from fires all across the Tennessee Valley.

Chattanooga has had problems with air quality in the past, but that was smog.

The smoke from these wildfires has taken the air quality level to a new low.

It is tough to go any where around the Tennessee valley and not notice the smoke and some of the same weather conditions they helped cause the smog problems during the 60’s are the reasons we are having problems with the smoke now.

With fires burning all across our area letting off plumes of smoke our air quality is at an all time low

“This is the worst we have ever seen it”

And that is saying a lot since Walter Cronkite famously commented on the air in Chattanooga back in 1969

“The federal environmental protection agency says that the pollution levels reached emergency proportions”

“It is much worse because this is very fine partials and back then in those days those were very coarse partials much of which were not respiable”

The Tennessee valley has been acting more like a bowl lately and holding in a lot of the smoke because of the cold temperatures causing air inversions the same thing that helped create the smog problems during the 60’s.

“We are surrounded by a bowl of mountains and ridges and air gets trapped especially at night and cools down to the bottom of the valley and can’t get away from these area mountains”

The smoke is the most dense in the mornings because warmer temperatures and afternoon winds help to clear some out some of the smoke… one thing that could help clear up the conditions would be some rain that may help put out the wild fires but chief meteorologist Patrick core doesn’t expect our dry conditions to end very soon …..

“Yea i don’t see a whole lot of change at least for the next seven to 10 days very little rain is in the forecast and as long as we have dry conditions and the fires going on when ever we do calm down at night that is when these inversions and these smokey conditions will be at there worst”

To put in perspective the air quality on our air measured 103.8 micro grams per cubic meter before that the high number we had seen was in 2000 and that was only 71.6 and the early measurements for today where even worse.

Categories: Local News

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