DECEMBER 11, 2013

October 31 marked the official end of ozone season in Central Ohio. Thanks in large part to a cooler summer, air quality in Central Ohio during the 2013 summer season improved when compared to 2012. Ozone pollution forms when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from motor vehicles and power plants react with sunlight, making ozone pollution the most hazardous during the warmer months of the year.

"In 2012, temperatures were warmer than normal and precipitation was below normal across much of the Midwest, including Ohio," said Daniel Alrick, Sonoma Technologies, Inc., Meteorologist. "In contrast, temperatures in 2013 were slightly below normal across the region and were much cooler when compared to 2012. In addition, precipitation was above normal across Ohio in 2013.”

This combination of cooler temperatures, increased precipitation, and the associated cloud cover likely contributed to improved air quality overall during the summer of 2013.

Throughout the ozone season, April 1 through November 1, MORPC assesses forecasts provided by Sonoma Technologies, and issues Air Quality Alerts when levels of pollution are predicted to be harmful according to the national Air Quality Index.

Though weather factors influence ozone formation greatly, US EPA's 2008 National Emissions Inventory indicated that mobile sources like cars, trucks and buses contributed 60 percent of all VOC emissions that can form ozone pollution under the right conditions. MORPC recommends actions like carpooling and fueling vehicles after 6pm to improve air quality and to promote healthier communities.

Visit MORPC's Air Quality page to view the end of season report and to sign up for free Air Quality Alerts. 

For more information contact Sarah McQuaide.