Smoke from Canadian wildfires caused decreasedin the central and northeastern U.S. this week — as seen in maps and satellite images that show the large-scale impact of the blazes.
The National Weather Service said winds were continuing to bring smoke from the fires into the U.S. on Saturday, causing "moderate" to "unhealthy" air quality across the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Midwest. For many areas, however, that marked improvements from earlier in the week when they were shrouded in an orange, hazardous haze, leading to flight disruptions and even.
There was "widespread improvement" in air quality overnight Thursday into Friday as the thickest wildfire smoke drifted out to the Atlantic, said NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
There was widespread improvement in air quality overnight as the thickest smoke drifted out over the Atlantic. Recently observed and model forecast vertically integrated smoke reflects ongoing wildfires but near surface smoke (through tonight) also indicates better #AirQuality. pic.twitter.com/8DypEpXzZh
— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) June 9, 2023
The weather service said more improvement was expected over the weekend as a low pressure system relaxes and shifts "to more of a westerly direction on Saturday." Weather Channel meteorologist Stephanie Abrams also said relief is on the way, but that hazy skies and reduces visibility will still be seen in the Northeast and Great Lakes Friday.
"This type of pollution is so harmful because the smoke particles are tiny, about 30 times smaller than a strand of human hair, so they can get deep into your body and cause serious health problems," Abrams said.
"Thankfully, this weekend and early next week, a system will come through that's going to give us more of a southerly flow, direct the smoke away from the U.S.," she said.
Smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to be transported south by winds into the U.S. resulting in moderate to unhealthy air quality across parts of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, and Midwest on Friday. Some improvement is expected this weekend. Excessive rainfall may… pic.twitter.com/NMfv6Ft7Dn
— National Weather Service (@NWS) June 9, 2023
Maps showed skies were clearing over parts of New York City and New York Friday state. However, a health advisory was remaining in effect until midnight, . Classes were being held remotely Friday at city schools.
Air quality on Friday was forecast to be "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," according to the Air Quality Index, in the Long Island, New York City Metro and Western New York regions, said New York officials. By Saturday morning, the Air Quality Index was showing a "Good" level.
UPDATE: DEC and @HealthNYGov have issued another Air Quality Health Advisory for tomorrow, June 9th, 2023.
The air quality is forecasted to reach 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' Air Quality Index levels on Friday in the Long Island, New York City Metro, and Western NY regions. pic.twitter.com/lq9H5eT5XU
— New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (@NYSDEC) June 8, 2023
Several maps showed states further west and south, like Pennsylvania and Delaware, seeing worse impacts, although the weather service noted they wouldn't be "as extreme" as in recent days. Much of Pennsylvania and Delaware reported "Moderate" conditions on Saturday morning, according to the Air Quality Index, though air quality in the Liberty-Clairton Area of Pennsylvania was described as "Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups."
Here is the latest near-surface smoke model guidance. The highest concentrations of smoke should be seen from Philadelphia and points south this afternoon, though not as extreme as previous days. For the latest AQI values, visit https://t.co/feYMPwR7XC #NJwx #PAwx #MDwx #DEwx pic.twitter.com/RRWWb0eWHN
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) June 9, 2023
Over the past six weeks,, causing mass evacuations and burning through millions of acres. While the Canada wildfire season runs from May through October, such destruction this early in the season is rare. One month in, Canada is on track to have its most destructive wildfire season in history. Climate change-driven extreme temperatures and drought have .
The National Weather Service has advised people in the U.S. to monitor their local air quality forecasts before spending time outdoors.
"Poor air quality can be hazardous," NWS tweeted earlier this week. "Before spending time outdoors, check the air quality forecast. Make sure you aren't doing yourself more harm than good."
Cara Korte contributed to this article.