North Carolina Air-Quality Forecasts Are Getting More Local

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina residents are getting more site-specific information this year about the air that they breathe and whether it might make sense to keep inside.

The state Division of Air Quality announced this week that daily air-quality forecasts will now be issued for 91 of the state’s 100 counties and two mountain ridge zones. In the past, forecasts have been regional.

A website provides real-time air quality index measurements, while next-day and extended forecast products will be posted each afternoon and updated in the morning. Index readings correspond to a color-coded advisory system that describes when the air can be unhealthy for some or many.

This week started what’s considered the ozone season, or when concentrations of the gas can be highest in the air as days get warmer. The division says ozone concentrations have been declining due emission reductions from power plants, cars and industry.