(Bloomberg) — Smoke from Canadian wildfires will obscure the skies in New York and across the Mid-Atlantic starting Wednesday, just weeks after the blazes blanketed the region in a polluted haze.
Air quality could reach unhealthy levels in western and central New York Wednesday into Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul said in a tweet. Alerts have already been posted for the region, including Buffalo, Ithaca, Syracuse and Binghamton, according to the National Weather Service.
“Although forecast uncertainty remains, NYers should be prepared for possible elevated levels of fine particulate pollution caused by smoke on Wednesday June 28th,” the New York Department of Environmental Conservation said in a tweet.
New York City and the Northeast had some of the worst air quality in the world earlier this month when smoke from Quebec forest fires swirled south, turning the skies over Manhattan an apocalyptic orange. The smog triggered flight delays and led to the cancellation of outdoor events.
The smoke is currently bringing unhealthy air conditions to Chicago and other areas of the Midwest, according to AirNow.gov.
“It’s pretty bad in Chicago,” said Bryan Jackson, a forecaster with the US Weather Prediction Center. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said residents should consider wearing masks and limit outdoor activity.
A weather pattern that’s bringing thunderstorms and showers across the Northeast will move out of the region, causing winds to blow from north to south in coming days, Jackson said. This flow could channel the smoke from Canada’s fires south.
Large parts of Canada from coast to coast have been burning for weeks. Currently 257 fires were burning out of control across the country, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.