SAN ANTONIO – Higher levels of ground-level ozone are expected across parts of South Texas on Monday, June 8, 2020. This means that the overall air quality will be at levels considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Who is included in these ‘sensitive groups’?
- very young children
- the elderly
- those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma
If you, a family member, or a friend are included in one of these groups, you should limit time spent outdoors on Monday, especially in the afternoon. If you’re not in one of these groups, then you can spend time outdoors without any concern.
Where will air quality be affected?
Air quality will be affected in and around the San Antonio metro area. This includes San Antonio, Bexar County, and the seven counties directly surrounding Bexar County.
How does weather affect air quality?
Ground-level ozone in the air can be observed at higher levels when the weather is especially hot and sunny (as it will be on Monday). That’s why South Texas usually sees more days with higher ozone levels in the spring and summer months.
Monday’s air quality issues will also be exasperated by sinking air on the western side of Tropical Storm Cristobal. This sinking air will trap more ground-level pollutants at the surface and keep them in the air we breathe.
However, overall air quality can be affected by pollutants other than ozone. For example: Dust from the deserts of Africa can be brought over to North America by the trade winds over the Atlantic Ocean. This happens primarily in the late-summer and early-fall, during hurricane season. The very, very fine particulates that compose this dust can lower air quality when plumes of it arrive in South Texas.
Does air quality affect the spread of COVID-19?
No. There’s no need to be concerned about air quality affecting how COVID-19 spreads from person to person.