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Sweltering danger in the air

Jul 21, 2011 12:41:00 AM - thestate.com
This week’s heat reached the officially dangerous stage on Wednesday, and conditions could be slightly worse today.

Health officials issued an Orange Ozone Action Day warning for today in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties. That means ozone levels will be high enough that active children and adults and people with respiratory diseases should limit outdoor exertion.

Ozone forms during hot, dry, stagnant weather conditions. Emissions from vehicles contribute to ozone, so everyone can help lower levels by limiting vehicle trips and by carpooling.

While the ozone levels weren’t quite as high Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most of the state. Another heat advisory – warning that temperatures and humidity are high enough to cause heat illnesses – is in effect for today for much of the state.

After a brief respite from the heat last week, Columbia’s official temperature hit 100 Tuesday and Wednesday. The National Weather Service forecast high for the next three days is near 100 with the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

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