People in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions will again face smoke from wildfires in Canada on Friday, capping a chaotic workweek that has brought foggy conditions and poor air quality to millions as far north as North Carolina. However, based on a New York Times analysis of forecasting models, there will be much less dense concentrations of wildfire smoke for most people on Friday.
Pockets of thick smoke could significantly reduce air quality and lead to poor visibility, the National Weather Service said early Friday, locating areas around southern Ontario and parts of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia may be the two cities seeing the worst of smoke on Friday, but even then it should be better than it was.
A broader region in the eastern US of light to moderate haze could continue to lead to dull skies and orange sunsets and sunrises, which have dotted social media profiles this week.
Air quality advisories were in effect for parts of Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. While most alerts were due to expire at midnight on a Friday evening, a smaller number will end earlier in the day in the early afternoon.
While most of these areas may still see worse-than-normal air quality, nothing is expected to come close to historic levels on Wednesday and Thursday in New York.
There, the air is « much improved, » meteorologists from the Weather Service said. However, air quality levels were still expected to be above 100 on the Air Quality Index. Officials have again recommended limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity. Further west in Michigan, meteorologists said an air quality alert would be in effect until noon and that pollutants in some areas are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups and could occasionally rise to an unhealthy level.
The breath of fresh air everyone has been hoping for should arrive on Saturday as the stubborn storm system that draws smoke from the north and northeast should begin to slowly drift out of the region.