Finger Lakes residents are experiencing hazy, surreal conditions today and officials are warning that the air quality is unsafe, not only for those with respiratory conditions, but for everyone.
The source of the smoke that can is causing the heavy haze over the region and much of New York State is from wildfires in the province of Quebec, only about 400 miles north of the Finger Lakes. More than 150 wildfires burning in Quebec have not been able to get under control according to CBC News.
Plumes of smoke are being transported south into the Great Lakes, New York State and Northeast compliments of a persistent north-northwest flow at many levels of the atmosphere.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued Air Quality Health Advisories for much of the upstate region until late Tuesday night and it is expected the advisories will be carried over into Wednesday.
The Air Quality Index jumped to over 170 in Central New York Tuesday afternoon, which is at an unhealthy level for everyone regardless of overall health conditions.
That is due to what is referred to as particulate matter, and when pollution levels are elevated, state health department officials recommend limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. Residents should limit their time outdoors.
The conditions have resulted in numerous outdoor events and schools to cancel, postpone, or move activities indoors Tuesday afternoon and evening.