Skies clear in Vernon

Air quality advisory lifts, as do hot air balloons

A dust advisory has been lifted for Vernon, just in time for the Winter Carnival to kick off.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has ended the dust advisory issued on Jan. 29 for Vernon due to high concentrations of coarse particulates. Changing weather conditions have contributed to improving air quality, and this is expected to continue over the next few days.

See: Dust advisory issued for Vernon

Coarse particulate (PM10) concentrations have been decreasing, and are currently below advisory levels. Latest PM10 measurements at the Vernon Science Centre indicate an hourly average of 14 micrograms per cubic metre. The average for the past 24 hours is 24 micrograms per cubic metre, which is below the provincial air quality objective of 50 micrograms per cubic metre.

Dusty conditions were mainly caused by road traffic stirring up winter traction materials that have accumulated on roadways over the winter months.

“It’s strictly the road traction material that’s put down and the weather conditions we’ve had in the past couple days is low and dry,” said Graham Veale, MoE air quality meteorologist.

A snapshot of the air quality health index (which focuses on fine particulate matter of PM2.5) Friday morning shows Vernon with moderate levels, compared to the rest of the province sitting in low.

“It’s not that Vernon’s the only place with elevated PM10 right now,” said Veale, noting Burns Lake and Castlegar also saw raised levels.

“It’s just a fact of life that they need to put down traction material so we don’t slide off the road and into crashes.”

And other Okanagan communities were close.

“In Kelowna they had elevated PM10 it just wasn’t quite at that level where we’d issue an advisory.”

While this is normally a spring issue, the conditions could repeat again before then for the North Okanagan.

But so far, the air has settled.

“It is clear – it looks pretty good across the valley right now,” said Veale.

“We don’t have that stagnant air mass just sitting which tends to hold things close to the ground.”

With that clearing, the mercury is forecast to drop.

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of flurries or rain showers Friday with a high of 2C and low of -1. There’s a 40 per cent chance of flurries for Vernon Winter Carnival parade day Saturday before temperatures plummet to -7 overnight.

See: Queen Silver Star crowned in Vernon

A high of -6 with snow is forecast for Sunday with a low of -11 overnight. Clearing will occur Monday with a high of -7 and low of -16.

“It’s going to be pretty cold but the air should be clear,” said Veale.

Real-time air quality information from Vernon and other B.C. communities can be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Lake Country home destroyed by fire

Call came in from Teresa Road just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, July 7

Boomer Talk: Vernon homeless outreach team and COVID-19

Columnist Carole Fawcett catches up with two generous women going above and beyond to support the community

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

New Lumby Disc Golf Course nears opening

Man behind new outdoor village activity says course will open “in a couple of weeks”

Vernon man arrested after reports of assaults on Kal Lake Rotary Pier

RCMP officers successful in taking man into custody after takedown on railway trestle

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Speedboat driver sentenced in fatal Shuswap houseboat collision granted day parole

Leon Reinbrecht began serving a three-year sentence in a federal prison in January 2019

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Sexologist likens face mask debate to condom debate: What can we learn from it?

Society’s approach to condom usage since the 1980s can be applied to face masks today, one expert says

Lower Similkameen Indian Band closes beach near Cawston to non-band members

The COVID-19 crisis “has not gone away” and “remains an ever present threat” says the LSIB

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Security camera captures woman stealing package from Westbank doorstep

Sharon Utton posted a video of the incident to Facebook shortly after it happened on Saturday, July 4

Most Read