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The iconic New York City skyline has re-appeared as the hazardous smog from Canada‘s record wildfires dissipated over the Big Apple – but over 50 million Americans remain under various levels of air quality warnings.
A southern wind has continued to sweep the smoke across the US, with some regions including Ohio being hit for the first time this week on Friday morning.
The dissolution of the smoke comes after several major East Coast metros from Boston to Washington became engulfed in noxious fumes for several days, leading New York City to briefly top the list of the most polluted metros in the world.
WASHINGTON, DC: The Capitol is seen under a hazy morning sky as air pollution in the city remains poor
A noxious yellow haze enveloped New York City on Wednesday (pictured) and lingered before mostly dissipating Friday
Despite the fog easing off in some areas Friday, the National Weather Service is warning states in the smoke’s path heading south are still at risk.
The forecaster warned that a low-pressure system over the Northeast in the coming days will ‘continue the flow of smoke’ from the wildfires.
‘Leading up to the beginning of the weekend near-surface wildfire smoke associated with Canadian fires is expected to continue plaguing regions from the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic with reduced air quality,’ the weather service added.
By Saturday, the smog is expected to ‘relax’, and the wind will ‘eventually shift to more of a westerly direction’.
The smoke brought travel chaos to the East Coast throughout the week, as the FAA was forced to ground flights out of several major airports due to poor visibility.
The FAA has not announced any further delays due to the smoke as of Friday morning, however disruptions are still expected in some areas.
School districts across the East Coast have also taken precautions against the smog, with school officials in Philadelphia and New York City telling students to work from home Friday.
Baltimore remains under air quality warnings as the smoke lingers over several states, pictured on June 8, 2023
New York City was cleared of the smoky mist as the sun rose over the metro on Friday, pictured on June 9, 2023
The lingering effects of the smoke over several southern states has seen millions remain under orders to avoid outdoor exposure.
Mark Zondlo, an atmospheric chemist and air pollution expert at Princeton University, said the reason for the ongoing issue is due to the smoke’s composition.
What’s making it really unique – aside from the fires being huge by themselves – is the air is staying really close to the ground,’ he told CNN.
‘So, instead of being wafted up and dispersing throughout the atmosphere or being in the layer 10,000 feet above us, it’s basically hugging the ground, and therefore it’s not dispersing.
‘The weather pattern is such that it’s funneling that smoke plume, keeping it tight close to the ground, and it’s coming for a bullseye right for us.’
Big Apple residents were ordered to shelter in place while the hazy smog blanketed the city, pictured on June 7, 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday that while the smoke appears to have come and gone, it is determined by several factors including wind direction.
‘The large plume we saw yesterday has been pushed through the city, and we are expecting gradual improvement through the early afternoon today,’ he told a press conference.
‘But a sea breeze this afternoon could push smoke back over the city.’
New York Governor Kathy Hochul added that while the Big Apple may have somewhat cleared Thursday morning, residents should remain cautious given the risks of ongoing high pollution levels.
‘We might get a little respite. But I don’t want people to let down their guard and to become complacent about this, because we have to be prepared for the winds to shift,’ she said.
New York’s Yankee Stadium pictured under the hazy conditions ahead of a game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on June 7, 2023. The game was postponed due to poor air quality
Several major US cities saw their Air Quality Index score (pictured) rise past 200, which is deemed to be in the ‘very unhealthy’ range
The levels of air pollution have dropped significantly since their peak, which saw some states suffer air quality so poor it was the equivalent of smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.
The smoke is made up of dangerous nanoparticles small enough to penetrate into the bloodstream, and people have reported side effects including irritation to the eyes and throat and breathing problems.
Determined through an AQI score – an internationally recognized pollution monitoring score – cities across the US were choked by some of the worst air on the planet.
On Thursday, the worst affected area was Windsor Township – about 70 miles west of Philadelphia – which came in with a shocking AQI rating of 457. That dwarfs the notoriously foul air in Delhi, India with a rating of 316.
According to tracking site IQ Air, by Friday morning New York City registered an AQI score of 76. At its worst, the city soared past 200 and registered as the most polluted city on earth.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk