Bad Air, Lack Of Rain In Central Valley Has Residents Suffering

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A sign on a farm trailer reading 'Food grows where water flows,' hangs over dry, cracked mud at the edge of a farm April 16, 2009 near Buttonwillow, California. Central Valley farmers and farm workers are suffering through the third year of the worsening California drought with extreme water shortages and job losses. The office of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger predicts Central Valley farm losses of $325 million to $477 million and total losses for crop production and related business to be between $440 and $644 million. Central Valley is expected to lose 16,200 to 23,700 full-time jobs and food prices are expected to rise nationwide. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(David McNew/Getty Images)

FRESNO (CBS/AP) — Residents in California’s Central Valley are suffering from bad air quality this winter due to lack of rain.

A stubborn high-pressure ridge parked off the West Coast has blocked storms from cleaning the air in the state, particularly in the agricultural heartland. This winter, a haze of fine particles has cloaked the skies from Stockton to Bakersfield.

The air is so bad that even healthy people are affected and are urged to stay indoors.

Typically, such warnings go out in the summer and are aimed at the elderly, children and people with breathing problems.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board says the region would have clean winter air if it weren’t for the drought.

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