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VIDEO: Why the air quality isn't great in metro Detroit right now

Posted at 9:52 AM, Feb 23, 2024

You may have noticed a haze hanging in the air and even a cough or tightness in the chest if you're sensitive. That's because the air quality in some parts of metro Detroit is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

For the other areas of metro Detroit, the air quality is moderate, according to AirNow.gov.

According to 7 First Alert Meteorologist Mike Taylor, it's because we have a stagnant air mass, but conditions will improve as cold air moves in.

It's part of what's called a temperature inversion, according to the National Weather Service, which is when cooler air is below warmer air.

Air near the ground cools more quickly than the air aloft. Because of that, the NWS said the air under the inversion can't escape because it's cooler than the warmer air aloft, so smoke and pollution get trapped.

According to AirNow, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens should take some risks to reduce exposure. Those include:

  • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard.
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors.
  • Be active outdoors when air quality is better.