n. Extreme air pollution caused by a combination of smog, dust, and weather.
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Following the "airpocalypse" in the city of Harbin this week, a question now hovers in the minds of many residents across northern China. It was summed up in a headline that ran on Thursday with a commentary in People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece: "In this season of central heating, will PM 2.5 drop?"
—Edward Wong, “With Winter Ahead, Can China’s Smog Get Anything But Worse?,” The New York Times, October 24, 2013
The fetid smog that settled on Beijing in January 2013 could join the ranks of these game-changing environmental disruptions. For several weeks the air was worse than in an airport smoking lounge. A swathe of warm air in the atmosphere settled over the Chinese capital like a duvet and trapped beneath it pollution from the region’s 200 coal-fired power plants and 5m cars….

The "airpocalypse" injected a new urgency into local debate about the environment—and produced a green-policy frenzy a few months later.
—“The East is grey,” The Economist, August 10, 2013
2013 (earliest)
Dust, smog and heavy wind made Li Yuan's weekend trip to Beijing's southern suburb in search of an affordable apartment a nasty experience….

January's "airpocalypse," as it has come to be known, has pushed sales of PM2.5-blocking masks skyrocketing in the past few months.
—“China Exclusive: Mask a requisite for Beijing residents,” Philippines News Agency, January 11, 2013
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