IMPERIAL COUNTY -A PM10 Windblown Dust Advisory is in effect for Thursday, May 16, for the Imperial County, particularly the cities of Brawley and Westmorland. A low-pressure system will bring periods of strong gusty southwest to west winds through Friday morning. The strongest winds are expected for this afternoon and evening along the mountain crests and the desert slopes of the mountains into the adjacent desert areas: Areas of south to southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph becoming southwest to west 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph for this afternoon and evening, then diminishing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph for late tonight into Friday morning. The strongest winds are expected for this afternoon and evening with strongest gusts to around 65 mph.
The US EPA AirNow program recommends the following for those in areas experiencing high levels of PM10:
Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. It’s OK to be active outside, but take more breaks and do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.
People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy.
If you have heart disease: Symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue may indicate a serious problem. If you have any of these, contact your health care provider.
In areas directly impacted by windblown dust: People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD) also recommends residents to visit www.ImperialValleyAir.org and/or download the Imperial Valley Air mobile phone app to stay up to date for any changes in dust or weather conditions.
The ICAPCD will continue to monitor windblown dust impact and issue additional advisories as conditions warrant.
The ICAPCD is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the Imperial County. For more information, contact the ICAPCD at (442) 265-1800 or visit www.co.imperial.ca.us/AirPollution.