Weather News

Spare the Air alert issued for Tuesday as air pollution spikes in Sacramento area

Sacramento-area air districts have issued a Spare the Air alert effective Tuesday due to a poor air quality forecast, the fifth such warning of 2019.

A Spare the Air day is automatically triggered when the forecast for the day’s ozone air quality index exceeds 125. Tuesday is expected to reach a reading of 129. Anything 100 or higher is deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Air quality index readings are forecast to return below 100 on Wednesday and Thursday, according to

Run by the Sacramento Metropolitan, El Dorado, Feather River, Placer and Yolo-Solano air districts, the Spare the Air program urges commuters to cut back on driving, to carpool and to bike or walk during morning hours when pollution levels are lowest.

The region observed 20 Spare the Air days in 2018, the highest tally since 2002. The most recent Spare the Air day this year came July 28.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.