FAIRFIELD — Record high temperatures during a four-day heat wave combined with light winds this week created conditions that led the region’s air district on Tuesday to issue the summer’s third consecutive Spare the Air alert for Wednesday.
Highs Wednesday should reach the mid-90s with light wind, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are forecast to move to the low 90s Thursday before dropping to the low 80s Friday.
The high temperatures through Thursday, combined with light breezes, are prime conditions to create poor air quality in the area.
Projected air quality in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Eastern Zone, which includes Fairfield, Suisun City and Travis Air Force Base, is driving the regional Spare the Air alert. Air quality in the area is expected to remain unhealthy to sensitive groups through Thursday.
Monday and Tuesday were also a Spare the Air day.
Monday saw a record high temperature for the day – 88 degrees – at Travis Air Force Base, according to Mike Pechner, owner of Golden West Meteorology in the Cordelia Villages area of Fairfield. Tuesday’s high of 91 at the base tied a record set in 2006.
Air district officials call summer Spare the Air days when ground-level ozone, or smog, makes air quality unhealthy. Breathing air with high levels of ozone can irritate a person’s eyes, nose and throat and cause coughing and headaches. Ozone can reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and damage the lining of the lung.
Children, adults who are active outdoors and people who have an unusual susceptibility to the effects of ozone are most at risk, according to the air district’s website.
People are asked on Spare the Air days to cut back on any activities that cause pollution, such things as driving and using oil-based paints, gasoline-powered lawn mowers or household aerosol products such as hair sprays. People who are sensitive to unhealthy air are advised to limit their time outdoors, particularly in the afternoon hours.
The summer Spare the Air season in the Bay Area generally runs from May through mid-October.
Air quality in the adjacent Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District is also projected to be unhealthy Wednesday for people who are sensitive to the effects of smog, but there is no Spare the Air alert for Vacaville, Dixon, Rio Vista and the surrounding rural areas of Solano County.
Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.