Number of annual stagnant days are increasing in Alabama
Stagnant air can result in unhealthy conditions
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hot, dry and calm weather may be ideal for a summer day at the beach, pool or lake in Alabama. It’s not a great combination to have for multiple days in a row.
That’s because it can lead to a build-up of pollutants in the air. This is a process referred to as stagnation.
Stagnant air can lead to deteriorated air quality, which can be unhealthy for those spending time outdoors. Even healthy people can experience health issues if the air quality is poor enough.
A new report from Climate Central highlights the uptick in the annual number of these stagnant days in cities across the U.S. Of the 241 cities analyzed, 83% have seen an increase in summer stagnant days since 1973. For the entire year, that number drops slightly to 81%.
Nearly all of Alabama has seen an increase in these stagnant days. In fact, most of the state sees anywhere from five to twenty five more stagnant days now as compared to what was seen just 50 years ago.
That’s a direct result of an increasing number of hot days.
More hot days in the 90s combined with light wind and a dry conditions is a perfect recipe for a stagnant air day. A couple to several of these days in a row will cause the air quality to go down -- perhaps becoming problematic to breathe.
Not every day with subpar air quality is unhealthy or dangerous, but they can be if the condition of the air is bad enough.
If the air quality is forecast to be poor enough an “Air Quality Alert” will be issued. When these are issued they shouldn’t be ignored; they are issued to help keep people safe when breathing outdoor air may not be healthy.
For more on the different air quality categories, visit this website.
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