Southeast Michigan has first 'ozone action day' of 2020, hot weekend on deck

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Thursday has been declared the first Ozone Action Day of 2020 in southeast Michigan by the Michigan department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. 

The state's air quality index is on orange, which means the air can be unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with asthma, children and older people. Those who are normally able to be "extremely active" outdoors should slow down, according to a state guide on how to remain healthy amid air quality problems.

Thursday's heat, which is expected to reach to the upper 80s, is a contributing factor. National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Klein said the heat will continue throughout the weekend, reaching highs in the low 90s on Saturday and possibly again on Sunday. It's not until mid next week that highs should fall back into the mid-80s.

Heat can correlate to air quality problems, but not every hot day has issues, and every day with issues is not a hot day. While Detroit didn't get its first Ozone Action Day in 2019 until mid-July, Ann Arbor had one in January 2019. Determinations of air quality are made based on ozone and particulate matter in the air. 

Thursday's heat and air quality issues come as Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit Macomb County, eating at a Mount Clemens restaurant and touring the facilities of a Sterling Heights-based aerospace and defense manufacturer, before giving a speech at another firm, Casadei Structural Steel, in the city. 

And Thursday night, demonstrations in Detroit are expected to step off for the 21st day of protesting in Detroit.