The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Air Quality Division (AQD), is again reaching out to residents of the Upper Green River Basin in anticipation of elevated ozone levels. Elevated levels of ozone have been observed in previous years during the months of February and March.

Ozone adversely affects the respiratory system, especially in children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions.  On days when elevated ozone levels are expected, people in these sensitive groups should limit strenuous or extended outdoor activities, primarily in the afternoon and evening.  The public is encouraged to use the monitored data to help make decisions about outdoor activity.

In preparation for the winter of 2014 and the possibility of elevated ozone occurring in the Upper Green River Basin, the AQD is again initiating in-house weather forecasting.  Forecasting by the AQD’s meteorologists will consist of evaluating whether a strong temperature inversion in conjunction with low winds, snow cover and clear skies is likely to occur.  This is the combination of factors which, together with the presence of ozone forming emissions, appear to result in elevated ozone levels.

The AQD will continue to forecast for the winter of 2014 (January - March) and provide updates to the public daily. These winter ozone updates will give expected conditions for the current and next two days.  The winter ozone updates will be geared specifically toward making sure the public has the information needed to help make decisions about outdoor activity.  

These winter ozone updates will be conveyed in several ways to the public.  Beginning January 2. The public can also sign up at the Winter Ozone website to receive daily winter ozone updates by email.