Twice per day NOAA's National Weather Services publishes digital maps that show national forecasts for ozone, smoke, and dust. Ozone is shown as 1-hour and 8-hour concentrations. Official Air Quality point forecasts, issued by state and local air quality forecasters, along with additional information on air quality can be found under EPA's AIRNow site. Surface and column-averaged concentrations of predicted smoke for large fires are displayed as 1-hour averages, updated each day.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center provides daily forecast maps of Ultraviolet (UV) Index for 58 U.S. cities, colored coded to their anticipated level of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on our skin, eyes, and immune system.
The NOAA Smoke Forecasting System integrates satellite information on the location of wildfires with weather data inputs from the North American Mesoscale model and smoke dispersion simulations. The result is a daily prediction of smoke transport and concentration 48 hours into the future. The model also incorporates U.S. Forest Service estimates for wildfire smoke emissions based on vegetation cover.
Sustainable Energy and Atmospheric Sciences Seminars
December 28, 2012
A monthly seminar series designed to enhance communication and collaboration among scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, and others in the community working on issues related to renewable energy. This seminar series brings together those who can combine their knowledge and expertise to solve the problems that have slowed the integration of renewable energy sources into the U.S. electric grid.
Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series
December 28, 2012
The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, gives a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The series covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
Atmospheric pollution manifests itself in many ways, ranging from reduced visibility to dangerous respiratory problems and discomfort. Atmospheric pollution can be gaseous (e.g. ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and/or particulate (e.g. soot, dust). The degree of pollution is dependent on a number of factors: source, transport from source, and build up over time through air stagnation. The stagnation index maps show where in the United States air has stagnated, leading to potential impacts on human and environmental health.
The National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. These products include forecast and warnings of environmental events that can impact human health, such as excessive heat, flooding, severe cold, and more.
When both temperature and humidity are high, humans can experience considerable heat stress. In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather.