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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Smoke and Asthma

Right now Florida has a smoke and haze problem because of wildfires in Georgia and Northern Florida at least 300 miles to the north. It is quite noticeable down here and while I'm fine, my wife is an asthmatic and this could create problems for her and others in Florida. Keep us in your prayers.

Linked to- Bullwinkle, High Desert Wanderer, Jo, Pursuing Holiness,

BULLETIN: The National Weather Service in Miami issued a special weather statement on Friday over the smoke and haze that is affecting South Florida:

Smoke and haze from the wildfires over North Florida and southeast Georgia have worked down into the southeast Gulf of Mexico this morning. This smoke and haze will continue to move east across mainland South Florida today, which will reduce visibilities down to 2 to 4 miles -- with some isolated locations as low as 1 mile at times. Drivers needs to use low beam headlights and reduce speed while driving through the smoke and haze. People with respiratory problems should also follow the advice of local health officials.

The skies over South Florida were clearer and the air quality better on Thursday, the result of wildfires on the state's West Coast having subsided somewhat.

Nonetheless, fires across Florida continue to burn and winds still blow from the west, leaving the smell of smoke in the air. The haze could linger through the weekend, the National Weather Service in Miami said.

The real hope to cleanse Florida's skies and ease the drought is the prospect of daily rains. That could happen as early as next week, said meteorologist Roberto Garcia of the weather service.

"We may start seeing daily thunderstorm activity across the interior portions and that might help the lake," he said, referring to Lake Okeechobee's low levels.

On Thursday, the wildfire at Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County was about 70 percent contained, said state Forestry Division spokeswoman Melissa Yunas.

That fire, which has consumed about 17,475 acres, has been producing most of the smoke wafting over South Florida.

Yunas said the fire died down by Thursday morning because winds slackened and the humidity rose.

"Hopefully, with the right wind conditions, it will be contained by Friday," she said.

Statewide, there were 236 fires on Thursday, burning on 87,160 acres, state forestry officials said.

Earlier in the week, South Florida's skies were a murky yellow and the air quality was in the unhealthy range, the result of billowing smoke blown in this direction by Subtropical Storm Andrea.

On Thursday, Andrea was downgraded to a depression in the Atlantic off Jacksonville. Because of its expansive air circulation pattern, though, the system continued to push the winds from west to east over South Florida.

That pattern was expected to keep the air quality index in Broward County in the moderate range through today, meaning people with respiratory and other health problems still should limit outdoor activities, the Broward County Air Quality Division said.

"The air quality is better," said Maribel Fields, an outreach manager with the air quality division.

The air quality index in Palm Beach County registered in the good range on Thursday.

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