Air Quality & UV Conditions

Tahoe Atmospheric Conditions

Atmospheric conditions such as Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, Air Quality, and Particulate Matter (PM) can impact recreation. Additionally, decades of research have shown that air pollutants like PM can increase the amount and seriousness of lung and heart disease as well as other health problems. Knowing the current atmospheric conditions in the Tahoe Basin can help individuals better plan for a visit or plan for alternative indoor activities to minimize exposure. Note that even on a cloudy day you can easily be exposed to UV radiation. Check the current UV Index (updated hourly) and the Air Quality Index (updated approximately every two minutes) to know before you go.

Ultraviolet Index

UV Index measures the amount of ultra-violet rays that are harmful to human skin, contribute to the risk of skin cancer, and can even cause snow blindness in winter. The higher the UV Index, the more likely an individual will receive a sunburn.

UV Index in the Tahoe Basin:

UVI Last Updated:

Air Quality Index for the Tahoe Basin

The air quality in Tahoe is usually spectacular, but when smoke comes into the basin, it can be extremely hazardous.

Air Quality Index measures how clean or polluted the air is around you. Look at the chart below to understand the levels of the air quality index.

PM2.5 stands for the particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere that has a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller, the thickness of human hair is approximately 150 micrometers. These particles are harmful to humans because they stay in the air longer allowing more of them to be inhaled. These particles are so small that many of them bypass the protective measures that are in the nose and throat, causing them to enter into the lungs. (μg/m3 means micrograms per meters cubed).

Location Air Quality Index PM 2.5 Value (μg/m3) Levels of Health Concern
Incline Village:
Tahoe Keys:
Rubicon Bay:

AQI Last Updated:

Sensor data provided by PurpleAir

Check out our wind maps of Lake Tahoe! 

Page created by Brian Wiebe