Warm weather is predicted to be even warmer throughout the region today (Aug. 24), prompting the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to announce a second Spare the Air alert this summer.
As temperatures approached 87 degrees in downtown San Francisco Monday afternoon, air quality officials announced that regional air quality and ground level ozone or smog will continue to reach levels considered unhealthy, according to the air district.
"We see these conditions especially in summer with higher temperatures and low wind," district spokeswoman Kristine Roselius said, adding that air quality is expected to be the worst in the East Bay and the South Bay.
The National Weather Service is predicting Bay Area temperatures to peak today, and then begin to retreat in coastal areas on Wednesday, forecaster Ryan Walburn said.
"Temperatures in the East Bay inland valleys will still stay warm on Wednesday," Wablurn said.
A strong ridge of high pressure off the California coast is credited with this week's warming trend, after a summer in which unusually cool temperatures have preempted the need to declare any Spare the Air alerts until today.
"We've been very lucky this year," Ribelius said. "By this time last year we'd had 10 Spare the Air alerts."
Bay Area residents are urged to take public transportation, avoid grilling food outside and try not to use aerosol products such as hairspray.
"We're really encouraging people to carpool whenever possible and limit time on the road," Ribelius said.
Smog is known to cause throat irritation and chest pain, and can be particularly harmful for young children and seniors, who are urged to stay inside and avoid strenuous physical activity during active Spare the Air alerts.