Dry winter brings bad air to California's Central Valley

San Joaquin Valley

Ric Francis

File: An onion farm is irrigated with water supplied by Arvin-Edison Water Storage District, May 25, 2005, in Arvin, California.

Residents in California's Central Valley are suffering from bad air quality this winter due to lack of rain.

A stubborn high-pressure ridge parked off the West Coast has blocked storms from cleaning the air in the state, particularly in the agricultural heartland. This winter, a haze of fine particles has cloaked the skies from Stockton to Bakersfield.

The Los Angeles Times reports the air is so bad that even healthy people are affected and are urged to stay indoors.

Typically, such warnings go out in the summer and are aimed at the elderly, children and people with breathing problems.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board says the region would have clean winter air if it weren't for the drought.

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