Air pollution can come from different sources. It can be natural such as pollen and bushfires, but it can also be man-made like smoke from vehicles and cigarettes. Amidst all these sources, weather can determine how we experience air pollution.
There is a common perception that rain can cleanse away air pollution, improving air quality. Let’s see in this article whether it’s true or just a statement that people believe in.
Pouring Outside? It May Be a Great Time to Walk!
How’s the weather outdoors? If it’s raining just enough, instead of staying like a couch potato or wrapping yourself in a blanket, why not go out and find a perfect spot to visit?
Rain might ruin your plans for the day or your OOTD, but when it comes to air pollution, it can actually be something helpful. During rainy days, wet deposition happens. It is a phenomenon in which a huge percentage of air pollutants are cleansed away, improving the quality of the air outdoors.
In Lanzhou, researchers have tracked the pollution level when it rains from light drizzle to extremely heavy. They initially looked at the smallest particles ranging from 1 to 2.5 microns.
Image Source: Smart Air
As shown in the diagram, the heaviest rain reduced PM2.5 by up to 8.7% while light to medium rain was close to zero. Apart from this, they have also found out that it is easier to cleanse larger particles than smaller ones. The diagram below shows the effect on different particle sizes.
Image Source: Smart Air
However, as you can see, even for larger particles, the effect of moderate rainfall was close to 10%. Heavier rains can be closer to 30%.
Wind Can Help Blow Air Pollution Away
The wind can sometimes help to improve the air quality by spreading pollutants, as opposed to permitting them to focus and develop in downtown areas. At the point when the air is stale, contaminants and other air particles can accumulate to make low air quality areas.
Urban areas close to seas can get additional advantages if the breeze acquires nearly cleaner air from the ocean.
However, sometimes the wind can also do the opposite. In some cases, instead of dispersing the air pollutants, it introduces a new set of particles around the area. This can frequently be the situation when bushfires rapidly spread.
Can Sunny Days Lower the Air Quality?
It’s really fun to do activities when the sun is out. You’d probably plan on having picnics in the park, playing sports, or any outdoor activities. However, weather like this can also mean poor air quality, especially in many cities.
The air tends to become stagnant during summer. This is because the dry season means less movement of the wind. It’s when harmful air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone can build up in some areas.
The Connection Between Weather and Air Quality
The weather and air quality have a seemingly unbreakable link. The impact of weather on the quality of air as shown in studies and research above can work the other way around. It appears air contamination can affect how much daylight arrives at the Earth’s surface since particulate aerosols like dust and debris play an important role in scattering it.
As a result, having extra precautions can help maintain a better quality of air, especially indoors. Get equipment like a reliable air purifier with HEPA filter that can help improve indoor air quality. It can capture up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, viruses, and other harmful air particles as small as 0.3 microns. Get in touch with us to know more about the relationship between weather and air pollution, and how to have quality air.