What time of the year is air quality the best in metro areas?



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    Air quality is affected by weather conditions and geographical location. During the summer, ozone air pollutants can be higher because ozone forms with more heat and sunlight. Particle pollution can be higher during the winter when more wood is burned under clear weather conditions. With an absence of wind, particle pollutants can increase. Carbon monoxide pollutants can also be trapped close to the ground during colder weather.

    Wind is especially important in improving air quality. Wind helps move pollutants away, keeping unsafe levels down. When inversion happens, it can trap pollutants close to the ground. For example, in California, when inversion happens, the inversion layer acts as trap, preventing air near the ground from rising or dispersing. This keeps air pollutants trapped near the surface.

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