Beijing air clears in time for dress rehearsal
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Beijing held a full Olympic opening ceremony dress rehearsals on Saturday, with skies overhead finally clear of pollution. $18 billion has been spent on cleaning up the air, including taking cars off the roads and closing factories.
A week after the city was cloaked in a humid haze trapping fumes and dust, rains and breezes have cleared the air, easing worries for now about Olympic Games athletes suffering in smog.
The city meteorological bureau (www.bjmb.gov.cn) forecast a top temperature of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, with a light breeze continuing to hold down pollution. It forecast similar rain-free conditions for Monday.
Pollution fears have dogged the build-up to
But fetid haze could return, and many of the more than 10,000 athletes are still delaying their arrival for the Aug. 8-24 Games until the last minute to avoid bad air.
The glaring sunlight may also increase ozone levels, a pollutant not measured by the city's official air quality index. At high levels, ozone can affect breathing.