Bay Area to see poor air quality, potential PG&E outages Wednesday as heat builds

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Bay Area to see poor air quality, potential power outages Wednesday
With heat building up, the Bay Area is expected to see poor air quality with a potential PG&E public safety power shutoff on Wednesday.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- A heat wave and a heat dome will build up pollution in Bay Area skies on Wednesday in a significant way.

"We're seeing more severe air pollution forecast for tomorrow," Tina Landis with PG&E said, "It's a combination of high inland temperatures and high pressure over the Bay Area combined with wildfire smoke we're getting from the north. It's going to cause ozone to build up."

MORE: Spare the Air Alert issued for Bay Area on Wednesday

That means ground-level concentrations of ozone are expected to be in the unhealthy range, especially for seniors and young children, with hazy skies dominating the scene in the East Bay. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District warns against strenuous exercise Wednesday afternoon. Polluted air is shortening human lifespans more than smoking tobacco, according to a new study out of the University of Chicago.

Globally, the study shows smoking lops off 2.2 years of lifespan whereas breathing in air pollution regularly is shown to shorten your lifespan by 2.3 years.

But escaping the poor air quality will be more difficult in parts of Northern California since power shutoffs are likely.

RELATED: NWS issues Red Flag Warning for parts of Napa Co., 1st for Bay Area since October 2021

This could be the first PSPS event of the year, and the first one in two years.

PG&E may be forced to preemptively cut off power to a total of 8,000 customers starting 3 a.m. Wednesday primarily east of the Mendocino National Forest through Redding and north of Lake Oroville. Very few shutoffs are in the Bay Area.

"Eight customers in eastern Napa County on the east side of Lake Berryessa could be impacted by the PSPS event, "Paul Moreno with PG&E said, "Those are the only customers in the nine Bay Area counties who would be impacted."

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