Knoxville will be under ‘orange’ air quality alert Sunday


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An air quality alert has been issued for Knoxville and the surrounding areas for Sunday.

An air quality alert is issued when the air quality is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. This means that those with lung disease, breathing problems such as asthma or COPD, as well as young children and seniors may experience breathing difficulties.

Additionally, those who are active outdoors for an extended period may notice poorer air quality and experience difficulties. 

We will be in the “orange” level. The orange level is for AQI (Air Quality Index) levels between 101 and 150. Sunday’s forecast AQI for Knoxville is 101. The primary pollutant Sunday will be ozone. 

Air quality alert days are not uncommon during the summer or during extended periods of high pressure, like we are currently experiencing. High pressure often creates hot conditions, light winds and a more stagnant air mass, which can produce more ground-level ozone.

While high pressure will remain in control the next several days, so far the AQI is forecast to be in the moderate level for Monday (at a value of 100). AQI forecasts can change frequently and air quality tends to be better during the morning hours. 

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