Air Quality Index

By Harvey Loeb updated 2023-06-27

Air Quality  

We experienced very poor air quality in Westchester for a couple of days in June 2023.  This was due to unusually robust forest fires in Canada and a weather pattern that brought the smoke, ozone and particulate matter to our area. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluates air quality for any location in the US.  The website is  The information is available in an easy to use App, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store (and I presume the Google Store).  You enter the zip code of the desired location and the EPA reports a number with associated color.  This is called the Air Quality Index (AQI). The number and color takes into account the ozone and particulate matter in the air.

Air Quality is rated as:  0-50 as Good (Green), 51-100 as Moderate (Yellow), 101-150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange), 151-200 as Unhealthy (Red), 201-300 as Very Unhealthy (Purple), 301-500 as Hazardous (Maroon).  Values are updated during the day.  The next day's expected AQI is also posted.

Riders, and especially Ride Leaders should be familiar with the AQI.  We do not want to ride when the air is unhealthy.  I will not ride if the AQI is above 100, and I will cancel a ride that I am leading if the AQI is above 100, on the morning of the Ride.  Riders with respiratory issues, or those especially sensitive to polluted air should especially heed the AQI.

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