Unhealthy Air Quality Forecast Overnight For the 2nd Time This Year

9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019 Update: Air Quality Slightly Improves to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Right on schedule, as of 9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019, air quality levels across Trinidad and Tobago has improved (slightly) to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

 Air Quality Index Across Trinidad and Tobago as of 9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019.
Air Quality Index Across Trinidad and Tobago as of 9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019.

The air is still polluted, so it is still recommended that doors and windows remain closed, with an air purifier on if possible.

Children and the elderly are advised to reduce outdoor physical exertion and reduce the time of their stay outdoors, especially in areas of heavy traffic.

Wearing a mask during outdoor activities is recommended. It is also recommended to stay indoors and avoid outdoor exercise.

This air quality level is forecast to subside by 6:00 PM Friday 21st June 2019, but moderate air quality levels will persist through Saturday.

See below for more details on this Saharan Dust Outbreak.


12:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019 Update: Unhealthy Air Quality Arrives Across Trinidad and Tobago

Air Quality Index Across Trinidad and Tobago as of 12:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019.
Air Quality Index Across Trinidad and Tobago as of 12:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019.

As of 12:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019, for the second time for 2019, air quality across Trinidad and Tobago are at unhealthy levels due to dense Saharan Dust across the region.

The air is heavily polluted. Please close doors, windows and turn on air purifiers if possible. Children and the elderly are advised to avoid any outdoor physical exertion and to avoid staying outdoors, especially during heavy traffic. If working outdoors, wearing a mask is recommended.

Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better.
Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Take more breaks during all outdoor activities.

The national standard for Particulate Matter (PM) of diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) is 65 µg/m3 and PM of diameter ≤10 µm (PM10) is 75 µg/m3. This has now been exceeded across Trinidad and Tobago, the first time since the March 2019 Saharan Dust Outbreak.


Air quality across Trinidad and Tobago continue to be on the decline this afternoon, with air quality across Tobago likely already at levels unhealthy for sensitive groups and presently moderate across Trinidad.

This decline in air quality is due to a dense plume of Saharan Dust moving across the Eastern Caribbean, following the passage of Tropical Wave 09 on Wednesday.

Forecast Conditions

Air Quality Alert For Trinidad and Tobago through 8:00 AM Saturday 22nd June 2019
Air Quality Alert For Trinidad and Tobago through 8:00 AM Saturday 22nd June 2019

Based on model guidance and air quality monitoring stations, all areas across Trinidad and Tobago are presently experiencing at minimum, moderate air quality.

What does this mean for you? At moderate air quality levels, unusually sensitive groups should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Sensitive persons may have some congestion, burning of eyes, difficulty breathing and throat and nose issues.

Forecast Air Quality Conditions

Air Quality Alert For Trinidad and Tobago through 6:00 PM Friday 21st June 2019. This will be the third time for 2019 Trinidad and Tobago's air quality is forecast to be lowered to unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Air Quality Alert For Trinidad and Tobago through 6:00 PM Friday 21st June 2019. This will be the third time for 2019 Trinidad and Tobago’s air quality is forecast to be lowered to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Based on model guidance, Tobago is likely already experiencing air quality at levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups.

What does this mean for you?

At air quality levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups, there is the increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease & the elderly.

Who needs to be concerned?

Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teenagers.

What should you do?

Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. It’s OK to be active outside, but take more breaks and do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.

People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick-relief medicine handy.

If you have heart disease: Symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue may indicate a serious problem. If you have any of these, contact your health care provider.

This air quality level is forecast to subside by 6:00 PM Friday 21st June 2019, but moderate air quality levels will persist through Saturday.

Air Quality Alert For Trinidad and Tobago through 9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019. This will be the second time for 2019 Trinidad and Tobago’s air quality is forecast to be lowered to unhealthy for the general population.

Based on model guidance, unhealthy air quality is likely to begin after 9:00 PM on Thursday night, through 9:00 AM on Friday morning.

What does this mean for you?

At air quality levels that are unhealthy, there is the increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease & the elderly.

Who needs to be concerned?

Everyone.

What should you do?

Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better.

Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Take more breaks during all outdoor activities.

This air quality level is forecast to subside by 9:00 AM Friday 21st June 2019, but moderate air quality levels will persist through Saturday.

What’s next?

By Saturday, a tropical wave is forecast to begin affecting the Southern Windwards, drastically improving air quality across Trinidad and Tobago through Tuesday 23rd June 2019.

Dust models continue to show, following the passage of tropical waves, moderate concentrations of Saharan Dust moving across Trinidad and Tobago over the next several weeks. Based on the latest model guidance, following this significant surge over the next 24-36 hours, another moderate surge is forecast by June 25th and another by June 30th.

 00Z June 20th 2019 NASA GEOS-5 Dust Model showing several surges of Saharan Dust moving across Trinidad, Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean over the next 10 days. Credit: Weatherbell
00Z June 20th 2019 NASA GEOS-5 Dust Model showing several surges of Saharan Dust moving across Trinidad, Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean over the next 10 days. Credit: Weatherbell

Sensitive groups such as persons with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and cardiopulmonary disease should take the necessary precautions on days where dust concentrations degrade air quality to moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Saharan Dust Precautions
Saharan Dust Precautions

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