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To smog or not to smog!

by Kate Haskell, weather presenter
The most severe air pollution is now expected in the east of England (purple). Credit: Met Office

You may have heard in the news that pollution levels are high at the moment but why is that and when will it clear?

Well, it's a combination of dust from the Sahara, blown in on South Easterly winds, along with high pollution levels from Europe mixed in with our own pollution from car fumes etc.

Add to that the fact we have relatively high pressure in charge at the moment and that acts like a lid trapping the dust in the atmosphere. This makes for some unpleasant conditions for those with breathing difficulties such as asthma and the advice is not to exercise outside today.

Now it's not often I say this, but thankfully a cold front is on the way, this will not only introduce unsettled conditions but also clearer air with the winds swinging around to the South West so pollution levels should fall over the next few days.

National

'Better news for Bristol' amid air pollution warning

Daybreak Chief Correspondent Richard Gaisford tweeted from Bristol:

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#Smog watch. Better news for #Bristol as pollution forecast changes @daybreak. Now very high levels will be in East http://t.co/iv0GtWFSrt

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Government experts have warned the Midlands and eastern England are set to experience "very high" levels of air pollution over the next couple of days.

Read: Air pollution warning for East England and Midlands

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Desert dust from Sahara sparks pollution warning

Desert dust and sand from the Sahara is due to sweep across the West Country tomorrow, thanks to a continental air flow which has travelled all the way from Africa.

Government health bosses are warning people in our region, should be prepared for "very high" levels of pollution over the next few days.

High (red) to Very High (purple) air pollution is expected across our region according to The Met Office Credit: The Met Office
Dust has been swept up from the Sahara by the wind

It comes after a number of reports from people that their cars were covered in a light coating of red dust.

High pollution warnings are expected to be in place across the region tomorrow and Thursday, but should start to fall by Friday.

Reservists live firing in Dorset

Some of the part-time soldiers in the South West have begun training to learn how to fire live ammunition from tanks on ranges in Dorset.

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry has bases in the county as well as in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire - and is the only part-time regiment using the Army's main battle tank.

Our correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports on what these changes could mean for them.

West MPs plan to rebel over army plans

At least two Conservative MPs from the West say they WON'T support the government over plans to replace regular soldiers with reservists.

Parliament's been voting on the controversial proposal which involves cutting the size of the Army and relying more heavily on part-timers.

Jack Lopresti is the Conservative MP for Filton & Bradley Stoke, and James Gray is the Tory Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire.

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30,000 south west drivers fined for using mobile

30,000 south west drivers fined for using mobile Credit: ITV News West Country

Drivers across our region are being told to avoid the dangers of using a mobile phone while on the road.

The 'Brake' charity says that more than 30 thousand drives in the South West have points on their licence for using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Today marks the start of 'Road Safety Week' across the UK.

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