For the first time in 2014, the China Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an orange alert for air quality. This is the second highest level of air pollution possible for the city, and is expected to last for days.
Beijing has seen several problems with air pollution over the past several years, and this is likely to be the first of several alerts for the capitol city of China this year.
A strong high pressure near Beijing has setup and been over the region for the past few days. In fact, since the beginning of February, only 0.16 of an inch (0.4 cm), which is normally the dry season for the city as they are very near average.
This lack of rain and stall air help to setup the conditions for the air pollution to form. The small particles and water droplets combine to form the air pollution, which are known to cause several health problems.
According to the United States embassy, the level of particles is at 378, above the limit of 300 recommended by the EPA. Last weekend, the level was at 500.
During the orange alert, factories must either shut down or lower their pollution levels. Those found breaching emission rules would be fined by the government.
It looks like the air pollution problems will continue through Monday as the winds will remain light and the high pressure remains in control. A cold front approaching from the west on Tuesday will help to bring some winds to the area and stir up the atmosphere.
Despite the winds and the front approaching, temperatures will get quite warm for the beginning of the week. Highs will approach 60 degrees F (16 C) both Monday and Tuesday, which is well above the normal high of 42 degrees F (6 C). Wednesday will see lower temperatures and much clearer skies for Beijing.
Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Alan Reppert