Coachella Valley air quality unhealthy for certain groups

August 23rd, 2013 | by Rob Hopwood | Comments

Airquality Mount San Jacinto can be seen through the haze Friday.

A dusty haze across the Coachella Valley today is making it hard to see the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains and causing air quality problems.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a windblown dust advisory for the valley. Concentrations of particulate matter will remain elevated through the end of the day, and are expected to reach or exceed the level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

“In areas directly impacted by windblown dust, everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors,” according to the advisory issued by AQMD.

On Saturday, officials expect moderate air quality due to ozone, AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood said.

The rest of the Friday is expected to be hot and uncomfortable. At 1 p.m., it was 100 at Palm Springs International Airport with 29 percent humidity. The heat index was 102. The temperature should top out this afternoon at 108.

(MORE: Coachella Valley weather forecast)

Thursday evening, a dust storm hit parts of the Coachella Valley, spreading a thick haze. Visibility in Thermal fell to about 2 to 3 miles, and some residents in Indio reported strong winds and spreading dust.

This weekend more storms are expected to hit the valley. The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday with heavy rain expected by Monday.

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