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A problem with the air-quality forecast

June 25, 2010 | 12:36 pm

Weather623

Reader Tom Kelly noticed a discrepancy between the air-quality reports on The Times' weather page and those on the website of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is cited as the source of The Times' forecast. 

"If you check the air quality on the AQMD website today, you will see it is drastically different from your weather page," Kelly wrote in an e-mail Wednesday.  

He was right: The air-quality map on Wednesday's weather page (above) showed yellow dots, or moderate air quality, for every city except Poway, which was green. However, the AQMD's forecast for Wednesday showed the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego, plus all of Orange County, as green, or good air quality. 

Graphics Editor Les Dunseith, whose department is responsible for placing the weather page in the paper, said the information on the page is compiled by a vendor, Weather Central.

After Dunseith asked about it, a Weather Central representative reported Thursday afternoon that an error had been found that was causing some of the dots on the map to be colored incorrectly. He added that the error had been fixed.

A check of Friday's weather page versus the AQMD forecast appears to bear that out. (The AQMD's forecast is on a dynamic map that changes daily, so Wednesday's is no longer available, and Friday's will only be visible on that day.)

--Deirdre Edgar

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