Web Extra: Unusual Air Quality Alert Explained

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CLEVELAND -- This has been the year of unusual weather happenings.

First there were light pillars, then there were snow rollers, and Wednesday -- in the midst of our below-freezing cold snap -- we had an alert typically seen when it's around 90 degrees!

We're talking about an air quality alert.

In the summer, that means don't mow your lawn.  Wednesday, it meant not allowing your car to idle.

Here's why there was an issue.

According to Fox 8 Meteorologist Scott Sabol, a small inversion developed overnight, and the warm air aloft essentially put a lid over us.

That, along with lack of wind, prevented a mixing of air.

Scott explains more in the video above.

During an air quality alert, the air in the region may be unhealthy for children and the elderly or people with asthma, heart disease or lung disease.

The effects can be minimized by avoid strenuous activity or exercise outside.

CLICK HERE for the forecast and other weather extras on our weather page.

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