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Top Story

‘The blob’ of abnormal conditions boosted Western U.S. ozone levels

An unusually warm patch of seawater off the West Coast in late 2014 and 2015, nicknamed “the blob,” had cascading effects up and down the coast. Its sphere of influence was centered on the marine environment but extended to weather on land. A University of Washington Bothell study now shows that this strong offshore pattern also influenced air quality. The study finds that terrestrial effects of “the blob”--warm temperatures, low cloud cover and calmer air--were the perfect ingredients to produce ozone. Ozone levels in June 2015 were between 3 and 13 parts per billion higher than average over the northwestern United States.

Visit Website | Image credit: Dan Jaffe/University of Washington Bothell