WSU researchers predict air pollution levels

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KREM.com

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 24 at 5:21 PM

PULLMAN, Wash. -- WSU researchers are trying to better anticipate smoky conditions and poor air quality.

Atmospheric researchers at WSU are able to analyze the air in Pullman to find out exactly what's polluting it using a program called AIRPACT.

Researchers measure pollutants, and predict air pollution levels using AIRPACT.

AIRPACT combines information over night about various pollutant levels with a weather forecast from the University of Washington to predict air pollution levels across the region for the next 64 hours.

Researchers hope this will help agencies and families make better decisions.

The university said this is the first regional high resolution forecasting system for these types of models.

Programs like AIRPACT make up for the lack of monitors that can't be placed across our area to collect data on smoke.

AIRPACT provides information about many different types of pollutants. Researchers pointed out that in some areas like Pullman, their predictions are fairly accurate. According to the researchers, cities like Lewiston are harder to predict because it's in a valley.

Monday’s models indicated unhealthy levels for the air around Spokane overnight and Tuesday for much of the Palouse.
 

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