What Color is the Air Today?

Kentucky’s air quality has showed steady and dramatic improvement over the past several decades – and we have the data to prove it. Air monitors across the Commonwealth sample and analyze the air for pollutants, providing accurate and detailed data about the air we breathe.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is how we make sense of all of that data. The AQI uses numeric and color-coded messaging to easily let people know at a glance how clean their air is, and the associated health effects of breathing that air.  Kentucky’s AQI, which can be found here, comes directly from real-time monitored levels of major pollutants such as particulate matter and ground-level ozone.

Air Color
The Air Quality Index is an easy way to tell how clean the air is and what that means for your health.
Air Samplers
Two air samplers from an eastern Kentucky aire monitoring station.

Want to find out what the AQI is in another location? The U.S. EPA’s AirNow website provides AQI data for the rest of the nation, searchable by zip code.

Some large metropolitan areas also forecast the AQI.  Forecasting air quality relies on a combination of predictive weather data and known pollution emission values.  The DAQ does not forecast for air quality; however, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) does provide AQI forecasting for residents of Jefferson County.  AQI forecasts can be found at AirNow and at LMAPCD’s website.

Learn more about how Kentucky monitors for air pollution here.

Courtesy of Roberta Burnes, Policy Analyst III, and all the dedicated folks at Kentucky Division of Air Quality