Rare Smog Leads to Paris Travel Restrictions

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Smog obscures the Los Angeles skyline. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.

An extended period of dry weather produced by a large area of high pressure centered over northern France has forced Paris to enforce restrictions on travel due to increasing amounts of air pollution.

In a drastic attempt to reduce air pollution, it was announced on Monday that cars with even-numbered license plates were not allowed to be driven in Paris and some surrounding suburbs, according to the Associated Press.

In an effort to enforce the ban, around 700 police officers set up check points across the city, ticketing nearly 4,000 people by midday.

This marked the first time since 1997 that measures to this extreme had to be taken in Paris.

The large area of high pressure that has built over the region for much of March has resulted in no measurable rainfall since March 3 and many days with light winds.

This combination has allowed pollutants from automobiles, businesses and agriculture to built up in the atmosphere causing the poor air quality.

A weak storm system passing north of France on Tuesday helped to stir up the atmosphere somewhat allowing restrictions to be lowered; however, high pressure will build back overhead on Wednesday leading to a continued concern for higher-than-normal levels of air pollution.

A powerful cold front will blast across the United Kingdom on Thursday, and ahead of this front, winds will increase across France once again helping alleviate air quality issues.

This front will then push through northern France on Friday bringing both gusty winds and rain that will help to rid the region of the recent increase in air pollution.

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