Looking for more information about air quality? Check out the resources listed below for background information on measuring, forecasting, and improving air quality across North Carolina.

Air Quality Index

Air quality forecasts are often reported using the Air Quality Index, or AQI, which tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. Please visit EPA’s Air Quality Index page to learn more.

Color Category Numerical Range Description of Air Quality
Green Good 0 to 50 Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Yellow Moderate 51 to 100 Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Orange Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 to 150 Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
Red Unhealthy 151 to 200 Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Purple Very Unhealthy 201 to 300 Health alert: the risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
Maroon Hazardous 301 + Health warning of emergency conditions: everyone is more likely to be affected.

About Air Quality Forecasts

Read more about the factors involved in building the daily forecasts from a series of posts on the State Climate Office blog written by our team of meteorologists.

From August 2014:
An Introduction to Air Quality Forecasting
Air Quality Forecasting: A Case Study

From October 2018:
Improving Air Quality Comes with a Forecasting Twist
Beyond a Number: Making and Verifying an Air Quality Forecast
Clearing the Air: A Discussion with Air Quality Forecasters

Consumer Air Sensors

Have questions about air sensors? See our FAQ here.