7th air quality alert of 2023 issued for Juneteenth as unhealthy smog levels return to KC

As hot, muggy weather continues into the Juneteenth holiday in Kansas City, so too will unhealthy smog levels.

The Mid-America Regional Council has issued an ozone alert for Monday, the seventh such warning the agency has issued this year. All but one of the alerts have been issued in the past two weeks.

“The same weather pattern that trapped the #KC region the last two weeks is setting up again for this next week,” MARC wrote on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

The poor air quality is forecast to fall under an orange ozone alert, which means unhealthy level of ground-level ozone, also known as ozone pollution or smog, is expected for people sensitive to pollution. The outdoor Air Quality Index is forecast to be above 100, with ozone being the primary pollutant.

When ozone alerts are issued, people and businesses are urged to avoid activities that create more ozone, including refueling vehicles and mowing lawns. Active children and adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, according to MARC.

The metro has already issued more ozone alerts this year than the past three years combined. Two ozone alerts were issued in 2022, four were issued in 2021 and 10 were issued in 2018. No ozone alerts were issued during the 2019 and 2020 ozone seasons.

The Star’s Robert A. Cronkleton contributed.