This paper presents the development of index to detect haze from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer remote sensing data. Detection of haze over a large area has always been a problem. This study focuses on Beijing, Tianjin, and Shijiazhuang cities in China. These cities have suffered the worst hazy weather in recent years. The spectral influence of haze on surface features was determined through analysis of the spectral variations of surface covers between hazy and haze-free days. A spectral index known as modified normalized difference haze index (m-NDHI) is developed that can be used to monitor haze distribution and intensity. Correlation analysis of the derived m-NDHI and previously developed NDHI with in situ (particulate matter with diameter ) data reveals that m-NDHI over water bodies has a coefficient of 0.7096, 0.5864, and 0.4857 and NDHI has coefficient of 0.5625, 0.5321, and 0.4618 with for Beijing, Tianjin, and Shijiazhuang, respectively, in winter. Moreover, the correlation of m-NDHI with is 0.4097, 0.8092, and 0.5546 during the spring, summer, and autumn, respectively, in Beijing. This developed index can be a much easier and more effective method to detect haze in large scales from remotely sensing data and characterize the situation of urban atmospheric pollution.