Salt Lake City’s Air Quality Ranks Worst in the Nation

Salt Lake City is facing the worst air quality in the nation, deemed “orange” or unhealthy for sensitive groups by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

This poor air quality is expected to persist at least until midweek, offering little respite for locals.

Global Ranking and Hope for Improvement

Currently ranked 26th globally for poor air quality, Salt Lake City lags far behind cities like Kolkata, India, but remains notably worse than others in the U.S., with Seattle sitting at 56th place.

The National Weather Service predicts a potential improvement with incoming winds, but it’s uncertain if it’ll be enough to clear the air substantially.

In areas where air quality is orange, Utahns who are in sensitive groups are urged to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors, do less intense activities; and watch for symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath:

Potential Relief on the Horizon

The real chance for better air quality is anticipated over the weekend when a more robust weather system is expected to sweep through the region.

However, hopes for a snowy Christmas are dim as the forecast lacks significant precipitation.

What You Need to Know?

The visible haze isn’t just fog but also includes particulate matters, making breathing difficult.

The current fine particulate level is at 36.8 micrograms per cubic meter, exceeding the daily “safe” threshold of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.

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Protecting Yourself

For areas marked “orange,” especially Salt Lake and Davis counties, individuals in sensitive groups are advised to limit outdoor activities requiring prolonged exertion, take frequent breaks during activities, and be vigilant for symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath.

Forecast for Different Counties

The forecast varies across counties. While Salt Lake and Davis counties are anticipated to improve to “yellow” (moderate) by Wednesday, others like Box Elder, Cache, Duchesne, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, and Weber counties are expected to remain at “yellow.”

Carbon, Grand, Iron, and Washington counties should maintain “green” or good air quality through midweek.

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