Coastal towns in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent look to set to experience high and very high levels of air pollution this week, according the forecast for Friday (June 5)
Coastal towns in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent look to set to experience high and very high levels of air pollution this week, according to the Defra forecast for Friday (June 5).
Moderate levels of pollution – between 4 and 6 on the 10-point Defra scale – are forecast across much of Cornwall, the south of England and east Wales on Thursday (June 4), but this is expected to increase to high and, in some places, very high on the east coast of England on Friday.
Towns on the coast running from Great Yarmouth and through Felixtowe, the Isle of Sheppey, Margate, and all the way down to Dover are forecasted to see the highest air pollution, with monitoring sites commonly expecting levels at 8 and 9 on the scale.
But while levels are expected to reach 9 in and around Margate and Ramsgate in Kent on Friday, top-of-the-scale air pollution looks set to hit the coastal town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, which shows the highest forecasted reading that day at 10.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, meanwhile, appear to be largely unaffected, and air pollution levels across the whole of the UK should be in the low banding (1-3 on the scale) again on Saturday.
The pollutant affecting the east coast of England on Friday is likely to be ozone, which unlike other pollutants often affecting the UK such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, is more likely to reach high levels in the warmer, summer months.
This is because ozone is a ‘secondary’ pollutant formed from gases such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of solar light, and is more common during higher levels of solar radiation.
It marks the first time high and very high pollution levels have been widely forecast by Defra since the UK Air website, operated by consultancy Ricardo-AEA, came back into action last month. The national air pollution website had been out of action for five weeks after being hacked by an Islamist group (see AirQualityNews.com story).
This followed several episodes of high particulate matter pollution in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in March and April (see AirQualityNews.com story).