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High air pollution expected in North East

High air pollution levels are being measured in Stockton-on-Tees, with similarly high levels forecast in the surrounding North East throughout this week

High air pollution levels are being measured in Stockton-on-Tees, with similarly high levels forecast in the surrounding North East throughout this week.

Stockton-on-Tees has seen high levels of PM1.5 today (March 14)

Stockton-on-Tees has seen high levels of PM1.5 today (March 14)

At 2pm today (March 14), Defra’s air quality monitoring network saw particulate matter PM2.5 levels reach 54 microgrammes per cubic metre (ugm3) in Stockton-on-Tees, which is in the ‘high’ banding.

It follows high pollution across various parts of the UK towards the end of last week and over the weekend, as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates struggle to disperse amid a current period of high pressure, which is expected to continue this week.

Urban areas of Berkshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands all saw high pollution levels over the weekend, after particulate matter levels also reached as high as 9 and 10 on the scale in parts of central London last Thursday and Friday (March 10 and 11).

According to the Defra air quality website, the latest forecast for this coming week states that urban areas across parts of North England and Southern Scotland high pollution are expected today and tomorrow (March 15) due to “continuing light winds allowing the build-up of pollution”.

And, continued settled weather could see this situation remain throughout the rest of the week, although pollution levels are expected to be low in other parts of the UK.

Due to traditional weather conditions in early spring, bouts of poor air quality are common around March and April in the UK. Last April, a combination of warm weather and light winds saw various parts of the UK suffer from high particulate pollution, while the Defra air quality website recovered from a cyber attack (see AirQualityNews.com story).

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