Air quality alert issued for area of Minnesota, including Twin Cities

The alert is in effect till noon Sunday.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality alert due to a rise in fine particles in east-central and southeast Minnesota, and area that includes the Twin Cities.

The alert went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday and will remain in place until noon Sunday, with the affected area also including St. Cloud, Rochester, Albert Lea, Winona, and the tribal nation of Prairie Island.

The cause of the pollution alert is "light winds and poor atmospheric mixing," which has contributed to the increased levels of particles.

The MPCA says air quality values will be in the "Orange" alert level, meaning it will be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

This group includes those with asthma or other breathing conditions, children and older adults, those with heart disease or high blood pressure, and those doing extended physical activity outdoors.

Screen Shot 2021-02-20 at 8.04.24 AM

"Air quality will gradually improve Sunday morning as a weather disturbance moves across Minnesota, which will improve dispersion and bring in cleaner air from the west," the MPCA says.

The MPCA is advising people reduce vehicle trips, postpone the use of gas-powered garden equipment, and avoid backyard fires during the alert.

Here's Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard explaining why air quality alerts are issued even during the winter.

Next Up

Byron Buxton

Twins talking contract extension with Byron Buxton

The Twins are 88-38 over the past two seasons with Buxton in the lineup.

minneapolis police

Police arrest man in connection to deadly Minneapolis hit-and-run

The victim died the scene in north Minneapolis on Friday.

Jordan Greenway

Wild's fast start vanishes in loss to Coyotes

Arizona scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 4.12.00 PM

Police seeking tips in search for road rage shooting suspect

The incident took place in Maplewood last week.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on Wooden Award list for women's college basketball

The Hopkins grad is the only freshman on the 15-player ballot.

Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Gophers fall under .500 after OT loss to Rutgers

The Gophers are under .500 for the first time this season.

police tape, crime scene

Man arrested for killing of his father in Wabasha County

The 73-year-old man was found dead at a home in rural Zumbro Falls.

Jake Odorizzi

Report: Jake Odorizzi to sign with Astros

The former Twins pitcher is headed to Houston on a two-year deal.


Freezing drizzle causing slick roads; air quality alert for Twin Cities

The slick roads are causing crashes and spinouts along I-94.

Another air quality alert issued across Minnesota

Smoke from Canadian wildfires is causing unhealthy air conditions.

Update: Twin Cities air quality advisory canceled

It might not be a good idea to spend too long outdoors on Tuesday.

Smoky skies are back in Minnesota this weekend

An air quality alert has been issued for the northern half of the state, with the south to follow.