After facing its driest recorded year in 2013, California is experiencing abnormally poor air quality, according to NPR.
Scientists believe the state’s ongoing drought is responsible for heightened levels of air pollution. Rain and wind from winter storms tend to cleanse the atmosphere, but with neither present the air has stagnated to the point of containing three times the federal limit of particulate matter.
The air pollution is comprised of several types of particles, including smoke from wildfires, carbon exhaust and dust. One L.A. allergist reported higher complaints of sore throats, chest irritation and asthmatic reactions among his patients.
Weather forecasts indicate no significant storms or other meteorological events through the end of January.