Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Hank Berrien.
The Statue of Liberty was surrounded by an orange haze on Tuesday as New Yorkers were tormented by smoke coming from Canadian wildfires that started June 2 in Nova Scotia and Quebec. A counterclockwise-spinning low-pressure system in Nova Scotia was slowly heading toward the west. By Wednesday, New York City trailed only New Delhi, India for poor air pollution levels.
Air quality levels in New York City on Tuesday were rated "very unhealthy"
by the government online platform AirNow. Brooklyn and Queens registered an air quality as high as 226 late Tuesday night; air quality over 200 is considered potentially dangerous. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality health advisory through midnight Wednesday for Bronx, Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties.
"There's been nothing this thick that I can remember,"
John Cristantello, a meteorologist for the New York City office of the National Weather Service, said. "This is significant."
"When that smoke [from the fires aided by the jet stream] does mix down back closer to the surface, like we're seeing today, the pollutants and particulate matter in the smoke coming down close to the surface will degrade the air quality,"
meteorologist John Homenuk of New York Metro Weather explained on Tuesday.
"It's unhealthy to breathe it in,"
he continued. "And it can also reduce visibility significantly. ... Right now, the models are suggesting another burst of of near surface smoke during the afternoon hours on Wednesday, and then some elevated smoke for the rest of the week and even into parts of the weekend."
Over 160 forest fires were burning in Quebec as of Tuesday. In Ottawa, Canada's capital, levels nearly reached 250, some of the worst levels in North America.
All of New England except Maine, all of New York, around the the Great Lakes, and as far south as Maryland air quality alerts have been issued. Towns across Quebec were evacuated.
"This is a dense wildfire,"
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said. "You are getting California-style dense plumes that are blowing south. These are more local fires, so the smoke is denser and they are causing more public health problems."
Satellite observations Wednesday morning showed the area hardest hit in the U.S. from the Canadian fires was in western New York state; the pollution was heading toward the New York City tri-state area and the toward the Mason-Dixon Line.