Air Quality Index (AQI) data - updated hourly

Air quality readings are updated hourly and a daily air quality forecast is made for the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Region at 4pm each day.

The AQI provides a comparison of air pollutants, standardising measurements of ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, airborne particles and visibility into one easy-to-understand index.

Updates

  • Until further notice, please note that due to communication issues, data may not update for the following stations: Richmond, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, and Orange.
  • Smoke from hazard reduction burning and domestic wood heating will occasionally cause elevated particle levels over the cooler months.
  • New South Wales is now reporting hourly averages for PM10 and PM2.5. More information
  • Emergency bushfire monitoring has now ceased. See the Alerts tab on this page.


Disclaimer:The data used in the compilation of this page have undergone only preliminary quality assurance checks. These data may require modification during final stages of validation as a result of calibration changes, power failures, instrument failures etc.

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Since the bushfires were extinguished, DPIE scientists have continued to collect background data from our temporary emergency air quality monitoring stations. These additional data provide a baseline for understanding the smoke incidents which occurred at these locations. The following updates are now being made to our network:

  • Our Grafton, Lismore, Cooma, and Merimbula sites will be retained as part of our Rural Air Quality Monitoring Network. These stations will help expand the network in the state’s north east and south east.
  • Sites at Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie will also be retained and will continue to report data to the Air Quality Index Table. Negotiations continue with councils on a permanent location for a comprehensive air quality monitoring station on the Mid-North Coast.
  • Stations at Batemans Bay, Taree, and Ulladulla will be decommissioned as the monitoring units will be redeployed to meet other operational requirements.

    What activity can I do?

    Colour ​indicator What activities can I do
    0-33
    Very good
    Enjoy normal activities.
    34-65
    Good
    Enjoy normal activities.
    67-99
    Fair

    People unusually sensitive to air pollution should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

    Others are not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.

    100-149
    Poor

    Sensitive groups should reduce strenuous outdoor activities.

    Other adults are not likely to be affected. Anyone who experiences symptoms should reduce outdoor activities.

    150-199
    Very poor

    Sensitive groups should avoid strenuous outdoor activities

    Other adults should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

    200+
    Hazardous

    Sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activities.

    Other adults should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

When it’s smoky, everyone should:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your asthma management plan if you have one. Keep your medication close at hand. Consult your doctor if symptoms worsen.
  • Reduce or avoid vigorous outdoor activity see activity guide below.
  • Spend more time indoors. Keep doors and windows shut to keep the smoke out. Open windows and doors whenever the smoke clears.
  • Spend time in air conditioned venues like cinemas, libraries and shopping centres.
  • Avoid indoor sources of air pollution like cigarettes, candles and incense sticks.​​​​​

If your child has diagnosed asthma:

  • Have an up to date Asthma Action Plan​. Seek review with your child’s GP to assess their current asthma management.
  • Check your child’s reliever medication and spacer is up-to-date and accessible by a responsible adult.
  • Provide written asthma first aid instructions, completed by your child’s GP, to their preschool, childcare centre or school.
  • Visit the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network’s Aiming for Asthma Improvement in Children​ website which includes a Good asthma control checklist​.
  • Free asthma helpline: If you need information specific to people with asthma, visit the Asthma Australia website to access their free helpline.

Information for sensitive groups

Some people may be more sensitive to air pollution. Sensitive groups include people with lung disease or heart disease, children, older adults, pregnant women.

If you need information specific to people with asthma, visit the Asthma Australia website to access their free helpline.

Anyone with persistent symptoms should seek medical advice or call Health Direct Australia on 1800 022 222

Bushfire smoke can affect people's health and it is important for everyone to reduce exposure.

Find out about:

  • Air Quality Index
  • protecting yourself from bushfire smoke
  • returning home safely
  • medications and prescriptions
  • support services
  • illness and injury from bushfire
  • information for child care centres and parents
  • advice for general practitioners

Visit Health NSW - Bushfire

Learn about air quality information, what Air Quality Index values are and how they are calculated.

Understanding Air Quality Data

Climate and Atmospheric Science is a NATA accredited facility (Accreditation number:  14209)

Several of our sites do not fully comply with the requirements of Australian Standard AS/NZS 3580.1.1 2016 ‘Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air – Guide to siting air monitoring equipment’.

Non-conforming sites Siting criteria not metReason
Chullora Clear sky angle ≥120°.
Distance to nearby tree ≥ 10 metres.
Trees have grown since establishment of station.
Earlwood Greater than 50 metres from road. Site is in a car park and approximately 35 metres from road.
Rozelle Clear sky angle ≥120°.
Distance to nearby tree ≥ 10 metres.
Established trees in a heritage area.
Coffs HarbourClear sky angle ≥120°.Sampler inlet close to trees.
GoulburnGreater than 50 metres from road.Site is located less than 15 metres from road.

This information is also available by calling the NSW Environment Line: 131 555 (local call cost throughout NSW) or 02 9995 5555 (if calling from outside NSW).

Anyone with persistent symptoms should seek medical advice or call Health Direct Australia on 1800 022 222