Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


Hourly Smog Updates Now Available for Oregon and Washington

Release Date: 5/11/2002
Contact Information: Dave Ryan
(202) 564-7827

To help the public prepare for summertime air pollution, when ground-level ozone (smog) is usually at its worst, EPA is expanding its efforts to provide localized "same day" and "next day" smog forecasts, along with "real-time" maps.

EPA's updated AirNow website provides forecasts and easy-to-understand maps updated on an hourly basis on ozone air quality information from monitors in 39 states and Washington, D.C. (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin). Within the next month, Idaho, New Mexico and Colorado are expected to be added.

The expanded website will also include same day and next day forecasts for over 160 cities across the country. These forecasts are based on EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI), which uses a color-coding system to rate air quality as good (green), moderate (yellow), unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange), unhealthy (red), very unhealthy (purple) or hazardous (maroon); the AQI also provides cautionary health statements for each rating. EPA shares the AQI forecasts for all major cities in the United States with weather service providers who make the information available to newspapers, television and radio.

Smog is created by a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. When inhaled -- even at very low levels -- smog can cause acute respiratory problems, aggravate asthma, reduce lung capacity, inflame lung tissue and impair the body's immune system.

For additional information on AirNow, visit the website at: or call Chet Wayland at 919-541-4603 (