Unhealthy air quality is expected to grip New York again this week as winds push in more toxic smoke from the raging Canadian wildfires.

While residents will not see the dramatic, dark yellow haze that suffocated New York City earlier this month, air-quality levels are expected to drop — potentially to “very unhealthy” or “hazardous” levels in some parts of the state — Wednesday into Thursday, officials warned.

“Due to incoming winds tonight and ongoing Canadian wildfires, New York City could experience worse air quality tomorrow, Wednesday, June 28,” Mayor Eric Adams tweeted Tuesday. “We will keep New Yorkers informed on conditions outside and actions they can take to stay healthy.”

Fox Weather meteorologist Samantha Thomas told The Post that city residents will likely experience “moderate” air-quality levels of between 50 and 100 on Wednesday and Thursday.

The air quality is deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups” — such as the pregnant, elderly and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases — when it reaches a level of 100, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

New York City was covered in a thick haze of smoke earlier this month, temporarily awarding it the dubious distinction of having the worst air-quality index of any city in the world.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

“It’s not like we’re going to see the sky turning orange again or we’re going to see anywhere near the amount of smoke in the sky we saw in the sky last time,” she said of the city.

Big Apple residents may notice hazy skies around sunset, “but it’s not expected to be a very dangerous event,” Thomas said, adding that the smoke will start to clear out of the area by Friday.

But other parts of the state appear headed for a worse time than the city.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Tuesday that air-quality health advisories have been issued for western and central New York, as well as the eastern part of Lake Ontario.

Chicago wildfire smoke
Thick clouds of smoke cover Chicago and other Midwestern cities Tuesday.

“While Air Quality Index levels are forecast to range from ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ to ‘Unhealthy’ for all during this time, New Yorkers are advised there may be short periods of time where the Air Quality Index temporarily worsens and reaches the ‘Very Unhealthy’ or ‘Hazardous’ levels,” her office said in a press release.

State Health Department chief Dr. James McDonald said his agency “recommends New Yorkers in impacted areas limit strenuous outdoor activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.

“People who are especially sensitive to elevated levels of pollutants … should avoid spending time outdoors, if possible,” he added in the release.

In the city,  N95-style masks will be available to commuters at major transit hubs such as Penn Station, Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, the Fulton Center and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, Jamaica Center in Queens and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

Brooklyn Bridge in smoke haze
N95 masks will be available at some of New York City’s major transit hubs.

The masks will also be available to non-city residents at state-run stockpiles in impacted counties, according to the governor’s office.

On Tuesday evening, the air quality index in Manhattan was around 55, according to airnow.gov.

The small particles in wildfire smoke can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and can affect the heart and lungs, making it harder to breathe. 

When smoke from the wildfires descended on New York City earlier this month, the Big Apple had the worst air quality index of any city in the world at 183 — which is considered “unhealthy” for all New Yorkers by the DEC.

Wildfire smoke obscures the Chicago skyline Tuesday.

On Tuesday, thick smoke covered Chicago and other parts of the Midwest. 

Chicago and Milwaukee were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 as major cities with the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday afternoon, at the peak of their smoke, according to Fox Weather.

Minnesota issued its record-setting 23rd air-quality alert, lasting through late Wednesday night across much of the state.

There are currently nearly 500 wildfires burning — half of which are considered out of control — in Canada. The most intense fires have been reported in Ontario and Quebec in eastern Canada, which has caused smoke to drift as far away as Europe, according to Fox Weather.

With Post Wires

Source link