Summer smog-less streak snapped

Instead of storm clouds, for the first time this summer, metro Atlanta’s air was filled with smog.

On Tuesday, the area experienced its first ozone exceedance of the summer, snapping the longest streak of healthy air in the summer since officials began collecting data in 1996.

The streak did not last into August, but it beat the previous record of the longest period in the calendar year without experiencing a smog alert. That previous record came in 1997, when the air remained healthy until July 14.

By this time last year, the region had 14 days of Code Red and Code Purple smog alerts, which notes air is unhealthy for everyone.

An official with the Clean Air Campaign previously said the summer’s unusually rainy and cooler weather could be a factor in the record streak, as heat and humidity cook pollutants into smog.

“The region’s smog-free streak had an unprecedented run this year, but as we saw Tuesday, outdoor air quality can change at a moment’s notice. With school starting back in Gwinnett County on Aug. 7, and across metro Atlanta in the coming weeks, it’s important that we all take action to help keep our air clean,” said Clean Air Campaign spokesman Brian Carr.

With half of all smog-forming emissions coming from tailpipes, Carr said peope should try commute options like carpooling, biking, taking transit or teleworking.