Richmond area reports zero unhealthy ozone air quality days

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High ozone levels cast a haze over Richmond’s skyline on July 19, 2013. Ozone levels tend to peak during the late afternoon and evening hours.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — It's been a good year for air quality in Richmond.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the Richmond metropolitan area recorded zero unhealthy ozone air quality days this year. It's the first time since the department began monitoring air quality in the early 1970s that the region had no days with poor air quality.

Unhealthy air quality days are characterized as days when sensitive people are advised to reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

DEQ Director David Paylor said that 1993 was the worst year on record, when Richmond experienced 76 days with poor air quality. He said progress has been made through more stringent pollution limits, more efficient vehicles, cleaner fuels, ridesharing and alternative transportation.

The ozone pollution forecasting season ended on Oct. 2 and will begin again next April.

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John Boyer

John Boyer, the RTD's staff meteorologist

John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016 after covering severe weather on television in Tulsa, Okla.

As a native of the Roanoke area, the region’s heavy snowstorms started his fascination with Virginia’s changing weather.

Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and earned their Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal in 2012.

Look for his stories in the RTD and on Richmond.com, along with videos and forecast updates for major weather events in our area.

Email him your story ideas and weather tips.

Thursday Weatherline

Richmond area gets 1 to 2 inches of rain

Richmond International Airport saw 1.3 inches of rain on Wednesday, the wettest day there since July 7. The rainfall also broke the record for Oct. 16. More rain fell in nine hours than in the previous 54 days (dating to Aug. 23). Metro-area totals ranged from 1 to 2 inches.

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