TMACOG: Alert for high heat later this week

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 1:07 PM EDT
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As the forecast turns hot later this week, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, or TMACOG, is issuing an alert for anyone who has trouble breathing.

We've hit the 90° mark seven times so far this year. As we approach the first official day of summer this weekend, we're looking at another round of heat that may make it tough to breathe and be outside.

Dr. Brian Kaminski, an Emergency Medicine Specialist with ProMedica Flower Hospital, said, "Really hot days like we're about to experience can increase the work of breathing, so we spend more energy when it's hot out."

Marc VonDeylen, a transportation planner with TMACOG, said, "If it’s really hot outside and there's no wind to blow that around a little bit, that makes the worst conditions for ozone."

"Most people think about the ozone layer in our atmosphere which is actually protected so that's the outer layer of molecules in the atmosphere that protects us from ultraviolet light, Dr. Kaminski explains, “but that's not what we're talking about here."

We’re talking about smog: ground-level ozone that develops when pollution reacts with sunlight. We've got lots of sunlight in store, and that means the potential for tough breathing conditions. And there's a forecast you can track to know what to expect.

"The four different levels we have are Good, Satisfactory, Precautionary Measures Should be Taken by Sensitive Groups, and then there's Caution. We very rarely do the Caution, but the next couple of days are Precautionary Measures Should be Taken by Sensitive Groups."

If you have COPD, asthma, allergies or similar conditions, Dr. Kaminski advises that you stay inside and try to stay cool. And on these higher alert days, you're asked to conserve energy by driving less, avoid mowing the lawn during the day, and fill your gas tank early in the morning or in the evening.

VonDeylen says the “precautionary measures” alert is for Wednesday and Thursday, and these are the first of the season. He also says, considering that the heat may linger into the weekend, the higher alert may last as long, too. You can find the air quality forecast from TMACOG