Increasing dust and heat, decreasing air quality

Daybreak Today - Weather, June 26

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - There will continue to be just the slightest chance of rain with a stray storm or two possible just about each afternoon and evening. Also, increasing dust from Africa and the patchy smoke from the fires in the southwestern U.S. will keep our daytime sky hazy and add color to our sunrises and sunsets.

Air Quality Forecast* for Today

Light to moderate winds, hot temperatures, abundant sunshine, could be enough for ozone to reach the lower end of the "Moderate" range in the Lubbock area, with the highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.

Patchy smoke from scattered wildfires across the Southwest U.S. will persist over portions of West Texas. Meanwhile, heavy amounts of African dust will continue surging rapidly into and through the state from south to north.

Air Quality Forecast for Saturday

Patchy smoke from scattered wildfires across the Southwest U.S. will persist over portions of West Texas. Meanwhile, heavy amounts of African dust will continue to expand across most of the state with the exception of Far West Texas and the Upper Panhandle. Overall, the daily PM2.5 AQI (Air Quality Index) is forecast to reach the upper end of the "Moderate" range or possibly higher in the Lubbock area. The associated PM10 AQI, due to the African dust, could also reach the lower to middle end of the "Moderate" range in the Lubbock area.

Hot temperatures and abundant sunshine could be enough for ozone to reach the upper end of the "Good" range (perhaps with an isolated low "Moderate" or two) in the Lubbock area, with highest concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.

Air Quality Forecast for Sunday

Patchy smoke from scattered wildfires across the Southwest U.S. will persist over portions of West Texas. Also, moderate to heavy amounts of African dust will continue across much of the state at varying intensities. Overall, the daily PM2.5 AQI (Air Quality Index) is forecast to reach the upper end of the "Moderate" range or possibly higher in the Lubbock area. The associated PM10 AQI due to the African dust could also reach the lower to middle end of the "Moderate" range in the Lubbock area.

Otherwise, today and this weekend generally will be partly cloudy, hazy, and hot. Outside of storm activity, which will be limited at best, winds will range from light to breezy.

This afternoon partly cloudy, hazy, and hot. Highs in the 90s. Winds southerly 10-20 mph, occasionally gusting around 25 mph.

Tonight will be partly cloudy and warm. Lows from the mid-60s to low 70s.

Saturday partly cloudy, hazy, slight breeze, and hot. Highs in the 90s.

Saturday night partly cloudy and warm. Lows from the low 60s to low 70s.

Sunday partly cloudy, hazy, and hot. Temperatures will peak in the 90s, with some western areas near 100 degrees.

Monday will be mostly sunny, hazy, and very hot. Highs will range from the upper 90s to low 100s. I expect Lubbock to top out near 100°.

The dust, as I mentioned yesterday, may increase allergy symptoms, including itchy eyes, sinus issues, and headaches. People with a respiratory illness should consider the possible benefits of remaining indoors and reducing physical activity.

*The source of the Air Quality Forecast (AQI) is the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). You can find more data and explanations of the terms used at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html

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