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Sonoma Meteorologist Focuses On Air Quality During Central Ohio Visit 
June 25, 2015

MORPC welcomed Dan Alrick in June, a meteorologist and project manager from Sonoma Technology, Inc. (STI). MORPC partners with STI to serve as air quality forecasters for the Central Ohio region. The program provides the public with daily forecasts of air pollution concentrations in Central Ohio. Armed with this information, the public can take proactive steps to reduce their exposure to unhealthy levels of ozone and fine particulate air pollution. STI has extensive experience with government agencies, private industries, universities, and nonprofits to provide science-based solutions for air quality, meteorological, and other environmental needs

Mr. Alrick addressed the MORPC Commission, on ozone pollution trends in the region and how Central Ohio compares nationally. Alrick and the MORPC Air Quality team also met with Chris Bradley of WBNS-10TV, Ben Gelber at NBC4, and ABC6 to discuss how they provide Central Ohioans with air quality information. In addition, Alrick and members of the Air Quality team got together with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) representatives to discuss the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the implications of a potential stricter standard on the region.  

“These efforts reinforce strong media partnerships in the region to cover this important health issue,” said Evelyn Ebert, MORPC’s Air Quality Program Coordinator. “They are also opportunities for local meteorologists to learn more about MORPC’s expertise and how air quality affects their viewers.”

Every morning, STI retrieves and reviews current weather data from the National Weather Service and air quality data from the Ohio EPA’s seven near real-time monitors. To develop a daily air quality forecast, STI utilizes the current air quality information and output from several weather and air quality models to project air quality conditions in Central Ohio over the next five days. The forecast is submitted to the national AIRNow system, which offers air pollution information for over 400 cities across the United States.

With the forecasts provided by STI, MORPC will issue an Air Quality Alert when ozone and/or high particle pollution levels are anticipated to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, and air pollution levels are expected to exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. When MORPC issues an Air Quality Alert an email will go out to nearly 2,000 EnviroFlash subscribers, a press release is sent to the local media, MORPC’s toll free hotline (1-888-666-1009) is updated, and information is posted to the MORPC website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more information regarding MORPC’s Air Quality Awareness program, please contact Evelyn Ebert at eebert@morpc.org or 233-4168.