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Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 15:00 ET
Forecast Valid: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today's Air Quality Conditions: Air quality levels remain in the Code Green range statewide this afternoon, with the only exception possibly being near the White Creek fire in Burke County where some isolated Code Yellow to possibly Code Orange particle pollution concentrations may exist in the heaviest smoke. For a display of the most recent air quality conditions throughout the remainder of this afternoon, please visit the US EPA's AIRNOW web site.

General Forecast Discussion: Tomorrow, surface high pressure will build overhead, resulting in a continuation of relatively clean air transport into the region through tomorrow afternoon. Ozone levels along the Asheville Ridge Tops may come close to or just over the Code Yellow range, with the rest of the state holding in the Code Green range for both ozone and particle pollution. However, localized Code Yellow particle pollution conditions will remain a possibility near/immediately downwind of the White Creek fire in Burke county.

Outlook: On Friday and Saturday, surface high pressure will slide offshore, resulting in a warming southwesterly return flow setting up. Moisture will begin to increase, resulting in increasing clouds Friday evening into Saturday. With a clean air mass initially in place and incoming cloud coverage, for now will keep the forecast Code Green. Particle pollution levels may begin to rise as a more polluted air mass is transported into the region from the southwest -- dependent partially upon the level of agricultural burning that occurs -- which could result in particle pollution levels across portions of the state rising into the Code Yellow range by Saturday. In regards to the White Creek fire, the current expectation is that the fire will begin to produce much less smoke after today's burnout operations, and so for now will plan to drop the Code Yellow particle pollution forecast for that event after Thursday.

Extended Air Quality Outlook
Forecast Day
AQI Range
Category Range
Thursday 39-55 Green-Yellow
Friday 40-50 Green
Saturday 40-55 Green-Yellow

Note: Ozone is forecast from April 1 to October 31. During the cool season ozone is typically in the Code Green range.

(McLamb - NC Division of Air Quality)