Spare the Air alert issued for Thursday due to hot temperatures, light winds | News | Palo Alto Online |


Spare the Air alert issued for Thursday due to hot temperatures, light winds

Conditions expected to create elevated levels of smog, according to air district

High temperatures and light winds forecast in the Bay Area for Thursday have prompted the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue a Spare the Air alert for smog.

Thursday's alert is the 13th the air district has issued for the summer Spare the Air season. The alerts are issued whenever weather conditions are expected to combine with motor vehicle exhaust to create elevated levels of ozone, or smog.

On Spare the Air days, the air district encourages people to avoid solo vehicle trips and to find other alternatives such as sharing rides, taking transit or biking or walking.

However, outdoor exercise is only advised in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower, according to the air district.

Inland temperatures by Thursday and Friday will be in the 90s throughout the region with some areas reaching the 100s, according to the National Weather Service.

Along the coast, temperatures are expected to reach the 70s and 80s but those temperatures could be even higher if the winds blow from east to west.

Weather service officials said the increased temperatures may catch some people by surprise since it has been so cool recently.

Moderate to locally high risks for heat impacts will develop inland and low to locally moderate risks will develop along the coast.

According to the weather service, temperatures in the hills and mountains will still be mild overnight Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to cool gradually on Saturday and then even more on Sunday.

Wildfire concerns will be low because of generally light winds, weather service officials said.

As temperatures rise across the Bay Area this week, the National Weather Service has declared a heat advisory, urging people to take advantage of cooling centers, drink water and fluids with electrolytes and use air conditioning to beat the heat.

To accommodate homeless individuals and those without access to air conditioning, shelters and cooling centers throughout Santa Clara County are extending their hours, according to a statement by the county's Office of Public Affairs. A list of cooling centers in the area is available at

The county also issued the following list of tips for people and pets to remain safe as temperatures are expected to reach between 10 to 16 degrees hotter than average.

• Drink plenty of water and fluids with electrolytes, even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar because they will speed up fluid loss.

• Limit physical activity: Avoid physical activity during the hottest time of the day - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Never leave people or pets in a closed, parked car.

• During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks and libraries to stay cool. Cooling centers hours are subject to change, call ahead to confirm hours of operation.

• Visit the Office of Emergency Management website for additional heat safety tips in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by registering for emails at, calling 800-HELP-AIR (4357-247), downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app for iPhone or Android devices or connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.


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2 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 12, 2019 at 2:38 pm

Friday is a Spare The Air Day, too, with even worse air pollution forecasted for Santa Clara County. Is walking or biking to work really a good idea in these conditions?

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