SkyCast – The Daily Pollution Forecast
SkyCast is a daily pollution forecast for the Kansas City area. It predicts air quality based on weather conditions and pollution levels. SkyCast uses different colors -- green, yellow, orange and red, to indicate the day's pollution threat. The SkyCast is reported on the website for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), in the Air Quality section of this website, in the Kansas City Star, and on the local TV weather casts. As seen in this illustration from MARC, the colors indicate how the day's air quality may affect each of us.
What does all the mean? Let's break it down:
About Ozone Alert Days
When the SkyCast for the day indicates orange or red, it's an Ozone Alert day. On these days, ozone concentrations are expected to reach unhealthy levels. More than half of the emissions that form ground-level ozone come from everyday activities. By reducing or postponing these activities, you can help bring the levels of ozone pollution down.
From April 1 through October 31, the SkyCast for the next day will be announced by 3:00 in the afternoon. Look for the SkyCast prediction in any of the aforementioned locations. If the color indicator for the following day's air quality is orange or red, you should take special precautions to protect your health and reduce the amount of ground-level in the Kansas City area.
On Ozone Alert days, MARC advises:
- Cut back on or reschedule strenuous outside activities. Stay indoors in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned building. If you must be active outdoors, try to schedule activity before 11:00 am or after 8:00 pm.
- Drive less. Combine errands and put off less-necessary trips for a cooler day, carpool or use public transit. Bring your lunch to work.
- Avoid fueling. Simply filling your vehicle with gasoline can lead to pollution as fumes escape and tiny drips and spills occur, and gas vapors react with heat and sunlight to form ozone. If you must fill your tank, do so after dusk. And be sure to avoid "topping off" your tank.
- Mow later. Lawn and garden equipment is responsible for an estimated 9% of the Kansas City area's ozone-forming emissions. Postpone yard work that involves power equipment until the Ozone Alert is over.
You can be the first to know the Air Quality Forecast in Greater Kansas City for the next day. Even better, you can get that forecast on your media of choice: email, Twitter, iPhone and Android. Get started today with EnviroFlash: Your Environmental News Flash
Get Everybody Involved!
Inspire your co-workers to join you in your effort to improve the Kansas City air and reduce Ozone Alert days. The Mid-America Regional Council has a program called Air Quality Workplace Partnership. Over 170 companies from all over Greater Kansas City have already joined. Start your partnership today!