Air Quality Awareness Week: Forecasting

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - All week we've been telling you the causes and dangers of poor air quality in the area. Columbus Planning Director, Rick Jones said, "We do have a concern and the EPA has told us they're concerned that we need to be looking at how we can mitigate this whole idea of ozone and that's the challenge we're up against right now."

News Leader Nine wanted to find out exactly who is in charge of issuing the air quality.

Meteorologist Derek Kinkade helped answer that question, "Air quality is actually forecast by the Department of Natural Resources. The Environmental Protection Agency actually issues the air quality forecast for cities in Georgia and Alabama."

But how do you find out what the air quality will be like on any given day?

"If you go to and click on the weather tab, scroll down to the weather tool box and in our links we have the air quality forecast for Columbus, Phenix City, Atlanta, Athens and other cities in Georgia and Alabama," explained Kinkade.

We usually hear more about air quality during warmer months, but that doesn't mean our health is always in danger.

"On a day to day basis we're not under that much of a threat to where an average person needs to look out for that," Kinkade added.

Of course smog isn't as bad in the Columbus area as it would be in a larger city, but you still need to be aware of the air quality, just in case.