By Ralph Schwartz
This weekend is setting up to be the best (and by “best” I mean “warmest”) weekend of the summer so far.
Not to rain on your parade (actually in this case, rain would be a good thing), but long stretches of sunny weather in the Seattle region always come with a dark lining.
The National Weather Service forecast says the high temperatures Saturday and Sunday in Bellingham will be 80 degrees. If that’s right, this weekend will tie the highest temperature recorded this summer, 80 on July 8.
Views of Mount Baker should be unobstructed (although some clouds are expected after Saturday), but that doesn’t mean they won’t be obscured by smog — a byproduct of vehicle exhaust and sunshine.
The main ingredient in smog is ozone. When not several miles above the earth’s surface, blocking ultraviolet rays, ozone is a known health risk.
The state Department of Ecology put out a warning today: Be aware of increasing ozone levels this weekend, and keep in mind that children, the elderly and people with lung disease are especially susceptible to ozone’s effects.
Most people won’t notice any effects, but ozone can cause breathing difficulties, especially for those with asthma.
More on ozone as a pollutant can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.