2016-05-27 17:11:17.000 – Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist
Over the past few days we’ve seen a much more summer like pattern across New England, with warm and muggy conditions. This has unfortunately led to poor visibility and air quality across the White Mountains. Today this was especially the case, where visibility hovered between 20 and 30 miles for much of the day on the summit, and ozone levels rose to unhealthy levels for sensitive groups. So what’s causing the hazy and smoggy conditions?
The weather is certainly playing a part, with high pressure off the Southeast coast pulling plenty of warm and humid air into New England. The stronger sun angle in late May also allows ground level ozone to form in the presence of other particulates, creating what is often referred to as “smog”. With light winds near the surface this smog often becomes trapped within the boundary layer, the layer of earth’s atmosphere immediately above the ground where friction has the greatest affect. If you’re interested in what the air quality may be across New Hampshire, check out https://www2.des.state.nh.us/airdata/air_quality_forecast.asp.
Looking at the weather over the next several days, relief from the hot, hazy, and humid conditions is on the way. After a very warm and muggy weekend, a cold front will sweep through the region by Monday, with heavy rain and cooler temperatures likely. The front will also serve to clean out the stagnant air mass currently in place, and I’m hoping it allows us all to breathe a little easier!
Hazy conditions looking south from the summit this afternoon.
Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist