According to an official with MEP, some cities located in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the surrounding area witnessed heavy pollution, due to unfavorable meteorological conditions and other factors.
According to the source, 16 (Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, Baoding, Beijing, Handan, etc.) out of the 39 cities at and above prefectural level in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the surrounding area suffered heavy pollution on February 20, another 16 cities including Zibo, Jinan, Laiwu, Tianjin, and Qingdao recorded minor or moderate pollution, and 7 cities (Erdos, Dongying, Linfen, Changzhi, Weihai, etc.) enjoyed excellent or good air quality on that day. The mean daily concentration of PM2.5 in those cities registered between 33¦Ìg/m3 (Weihai, Erdos) and 242¦Ìg/m3 (Shijiazhuang) and averaged at 128¦Ìg/m3. The mean daily concentration of PM10 registered between 53¦Ìg/m3 (Weihai) and 374¦Ìg/m3 (Shijiazhuang) and averaged at 186¦Ìg/m3. Shijiazhuang was the most polluted city within the region, with AQI reading at 292 and the air quality rated as heavy pollution. The AQI reading of Beijing registered 267, and air quality was rated as heavy pollution. The main pollutant was PM2.5.
Moreover, 16 out of the 39 local cities recorded PM2.5 level above 150¦Ìg/m3 by 14:00 on February 21, and the air quality was rated as heavy pollution or severe pollution. Among others, the mean hourly concentration of PM2.5 was above 250¦Ìg/m3 in Xingtai, Tangshan, Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Zhangjiakou, and Hengshui, which suffered severe pollution; and the data in Beijing registered 247¦Ìg/m3, rated as heavy pollution.
The meteorological conditions for pollution dispersion would be unfavorable between February 22 and 23, and the air quality would be mostly rated as moderate and heavy pollution in Tianjin and northern Hebei, and heavy or severe pollution in Beijing and central and southern Hebei. However, snow forecast on February 23 in some parts of northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region would help improve the air quality.