Air quality expected to worsen in the coming days

Cold air trapped in the Rogue Valley likely will cause air quality to worsen in coming days.

The National Weather Service office in Medford has issued an air stagnation advisory warning that a dry, stable air mass is parked over the region, preventing normal winds from clearing away tiny pollution particles produced by burning fuels. The advisory will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Friday, as conditions will continue until at least then.

Despite sunny skies today, it'll be hat-and-mittens weather in Ashland, where temperatures will top out at 38 this afternoon, then drop to 29 tonight, the weather service says.

Residents can expect partly sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s Wednesday and Thursday, though lows at night will continue to be at freezing or colder.

Monitors in the Medford area show that airborne particulate levels are increasing and unhealthy levels are likely to occur throughout the region during the air stagnation advisory, Jackson Baures, Environmental Public Health Division manager, said in a press release. He said the limitations are likely to continue throughout the week.

The Department of Environmental Quality reports that air quality was moderate in Medford this morning. Air quality was still good in Shady Cove, Grants Pass and the Applegate Valley.

Call 541-776-9000 to hear a recorded message, updated every morning, on current restrictions on woodstove use in Jackson County. Current restrictions also can be found online at www.jacksoncounty.org.

Anita Burke is a reporter at the Mail Tribune. Reach her at 541-776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.

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