Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Air quality continues to receive increased attention to the Inland Northwest. The region's topography lends itself to airborne pollutants becoming trapped and having an adverse effect on the population. During the winter, strong inversions will trap pollutants primarily from wood-burning stoves as well as road traction sand. In the summer, wild fires and blowing dust cause air quality concerns. Over the course of the past few decades, various local, regional, state, tribal, and federal agencies have taken on the responsibility to monitor and warn the public when air quality is expected to be a concern. The National Weather Service in Spokane has a challenge similar to NWS offices in other parts of the country, trying to coordinate with representatives from multiple government air quality agencies. The collection of agencies and air pollution sources has led to new partnerships and innovative means to help relay messages through NWS lines of communication. The goal of this paper is to further identify the many challenges and highlight how the NWS Spokane office has successfully overcome them.
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