Why Is It So Hazy? Wildfire Smoke Brings Red Skies, Health Warnings

Wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western United States stretched throughout North America this week, protecting skies in a thick haze, tinting the solar a malevolent crimson and triggering well being alerts from Toronto to Philadelphia. Air high quality remained within the unhealthy vary throughout a lot of the East Coast on Wednesday morning.

The map under, based mostly on modeling from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, exhibits how the smoke unfold throughout the nation. It displays high-quality particulate air pollution launched by wildfires and doesn’t embrace air pollution from different human sources, like energy crops and automobiles.

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It’s not unprecedented to see smoke journey such lengthy distances, stated Róisín Commane, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, however it doesn’t at all times descend to the floor.

The air high quality index, a measure developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, spiked throughout the Midwest and East Coast this week, with numbers hovering round 130 to 160 in New York City, a variety the place members of delicate teams and most people might expertise opposed well being results. (The index runs from zero to 500; the upper the quantity, the better the extent of air air pollution, with readings over 100 thought of notably unhealthy.)

In different East Coast cities, readings additionally remained elevated early Wednesday: 126 in Baltimore, 121 in Narragansett, R.I., and 129 in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.

Eerie crimson solar rises had been recorded throughout the area. The air pollution was forecast to start lifting over the New York space late Wednesday morning, however the smoke was then anticipated to push south to Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

More than 80 massive fires are presently burning throughout 13 American states, and plenty of extra are energetic throughout Canada.