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What’s within the Sky?

Wispy contrails over Pittsburgh, 15 Oct 2022, 1:40pm (picture by Kate St. John)

22 October 2022

Pittsburgh skies placed on a present in mid October.

On the fifteenth feathery contrails had been pushed by excessive winds at 30,000 toes. We couldn’t see them at daybreak due to the lumpy clouds.

Dawn with clouds, 15 Oct 2022, 7:20am (picture by Kate St. John)

The subsequent day the wind dropped, a temperature inversion set in, and rotten-egg smog gathered within the Monongahela Valley, beneath.

Inversion exhibits air pollution from US Metal trapped within the Mon Valley, US Metal’s Edgar Thompson Works and Kennywood within the distance, 16 October 2022, 9am (picture by Kate St. John)

Temperature inversions are typical in October and November when heat air above traps chilly air on the floor, filling the valleys with haze or fog. In Pittsburgh the air pollution from US Metal Clairton Coke Works can be trapped, intensifying the rotten egg odor of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) within the Monongahela Valley.

Climate or not, US Metal Clairton all the time emits these pollution however the sixteenth’s smelly haze capped greater than ten days of unusually horrible air air pollution brought on by USS Clairton(*). Right here’s how dangerous it was: How Unhealthy has Air High quality Been? H2S Was Beneath PA Customary For Solely 3 Hours This Week. (Observe: H2S degree is meant to be beneath the usual to maintain our air clear.)

The air smelled higher October 17-20 together with on this lovely morning of October 20.

Dawn, nearly clear, 20 October 2022 (picture by Kate St. John)

Yesterday was not so good. Hoping for higher air.

(*) US Metal’s Clairton Coke Works is the biggest coking facility within the U.S., baking coal to make coke for metal manufacturing. Coking removes coal’s impurities by turning them into gases together with smelly hydrogen sulfide (H2S). In March 2022 Allegheny County Well being Division reported that “Based mostly on all obtainable knowledge and assets, H2S exceedances that occurred on the Liberty website throughout the interval of Jan. 1, 2020, by way of March 1, 2022, could be attributed totally to emissions originating at US Metal’s Clairton coking facility.”

(photographs by Kate St. John)

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