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Hot October Drives Up SoCal Smog Levels

LOS ANGELES ( — Hot, stagnant weather caused smog levels to jump in Southern California this year.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports the Southland region saw smog levels above federal health standards on 94 days in 2014 — up from 88 days last year.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) says this year had been shaping up to be cleaner than 2013 — in keeping with the improving pollution trend of the last several decades.

However, a strong high pressure system developed late last month and hung over the region for weeks, causing smog levels to spike.

The heat wave generated both inversion layers and diminished wind gusts that typically would have cleared the air of ozone and other pollutants.

According to Joe Cassmassi, a planning and rules manager with the AQMD, said the warmer weather was a key factor.

"The real upswing took place toward the end of September and beginning of October when we had that unseasonably warm period that occurred in the early fall and late summer," said Cassmassi. "We don't see that very often, but when we do, we see these types of upswings."

During the 1970s and `80s, Southern California often saw over 200 bad-air days a year, according to The Los Angeles Times.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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