Strong winds from the north brought air pollutants to the city and triggered the first smog alert of 2015 yesterday, which happened to be the start of xiaohan (minor cold) on the Chinese lunar calendar.
The city’s air quality index spiked to 314 at 8am yesterday. The AQI reading is in the bracket of “severe pollution” and lasted about four hours with the density of PM2.5 particles reaching 264 micrograms per cubic meter, 10 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.
The Hangzhou Meteorological Bureau issued a yellow smog alert at 8:30am but air quality improved after 2pm.
Neighboring cities of Huzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Zhoushan, Jiaxing and Jinhua also reported severe smog around 7am yesterday and the smog cleared up around 3pm.
Source: Hangzhou International Center