Put your masks on

Good morning everyone,

We can expect it to be a bit cooler today and tomorrow with rain off and on for most of today. Tomorrow will see the rain stop, but they are calling for cloudy weather for most of the week although it will warm up again from Thursday.

Areas in southwestern Japan on Monday issued a forecast that the toxic air pollutant PM2.5 could exceed the safe limit set in national environment standards. People with respiratory and heart problems and allergies are being asked to wear masks when going out.

The daily average density of the hazardous particulate matter, measuring below 2.5 microns in diameter, or 2.5 thousandths of a millimeter, is expected to exceed 35 micrograms per 1 cubic meter-most of which is yellow sand from China.

The problem isn't limited to us here in the south either, sand has been observed across a wide area of Japan from west to north from Sunday to Monday, with the weather agency warning of a possible impact on the transport system due to poor visibility.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the indicator showing visibility in a horizontal direction has dropped to 8 kilometers in the cities of Kumamoto in southwest and Hakodate in Hokkaido and many areas in between.

If the indicator drops below 10 km, scenery becomes blurred, and when it falls below 5km sand could be seen on cars and laundry. With visibility at less than 2 km, takeoffs and landings of airplanes would be affected.

Well, I know the mountains to the northeast of me (in Koi) are about 10km away and I couldn't see them at all yesterday. I actually took the government's advice and decided to not go out for a run yesterday. Hopefully the rain today will clear some of it out of the sky...of course that means that we'll all be washing our cars next weekend...that's just one more reason why I'm glad I sold mine...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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