Lighter winds, lower temperatures expected in Merced area

Winds and temperatures for the rest of the week should be more favorable for those with respiratory problems.

According to David Spector, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, winds are expected to be “relatively light” for the next few days.

Blowing dust caused by Wednesday’s high-gust winds prompted the region’s air pollution officials to issue a cautionary statement throughout the eight-county air basin: Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District officials warned residents that areas of blowing dust can result in unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter. Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health issues such as lung disease, asthma attacks, bronchitis and respiratory infections.

Winds are expected to calm to 5 to 10 mph by Thursday afternoon in Merced and Mariposa counties, Spector said.

Temperatures are also expected to drop. The high 90s experienced in recent days in Merced will give way to low 80s by the weekend, and Mariposa’s high 80s will become mid-70s, according to forecasters.

Spector said residents can expect a “cooler than normal weekend.”