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.

Just Posted

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Just for Kicks teacher and fellow dancers placed in lockdown, watch police response from Airbnb

Preserving Secwepemc culture, history through storytelling

Neskonlith councillor Louis Thomas to share his craft at Word on the Lake

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

Hundreds of square dancers to do-si-do to Shuswap

Salmon Arm to host the BC Square & Round Dance Festival in July, with up to 1,000 dancers expected.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Traffic flagger ‘pushed’ by vehicle in Osoyoos on April 18

Aimee Attig is looking for witnesses of the incident that took place on Highway 3 near the AG Foods

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Most Read