NEW YORK (PIX11) — A haze of smoke has taken over New York City and the surrounding areas.
When will the yellow skies clear out? Here’s a rough timeline of when experts say you should see some relief.
Air quality timeline for NY, NJ
Tuesday: An air quality alert was issued in the tri-state area on Tuesday. Officials warned that the air quality is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. For People with asthma, heart and lung disease, or general breathing problems, the air quality could cause short-term health issues. Children and adults over 65 are also vulnerable.
Tuesday afternoon: New York City’s air quality “rapidly deteriorated” in the afternoon, according to Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol.
Late Tuesday night: The air quality in New York City hit record levels, reaching 218 on the Air Quality Index, which is “very unhealthy,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Wednesday morning: New Yorkers woke up to a blanket of smoke that Mayor Eric Adams described as an “unprecedented” and “alarming” event. The Air Quality Index in New York City was 174 on Wednesday morning, according to Adams. City leaders gave an update on the deteriorating air quality.
The New York City Department of Education did not cancel in-person classes on Wednesday. However, public schools did not offer any outdoor activities. Adams also told residents to limit outdoor activities, and parks officials closed beaches as smoke smudged the skyline.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned the public to “prepare for this over the long haul.”
The Federal Aviation Administration paused some flights bound for LaGuardia Airport and slowed planes to Newark Liberty because the smoke limited visibility.
Wednesday night: Mayor Adams said during an evening briefing at 5 p.m. that the Air Quality Index in New York City hit 484. The index tops out at 500.
The air quality was expected to temporarily improve overnight.
Thursday morning: The Air Quality Index dropped to 185 by 7:20 a.m. Thursday, according to IQAir’s live Air Quality and Pollution City Ranking.
Thursday evening: The Air Quality Index in New York City dropped to 154 by 6:45 p.m. Thursday, according to IQAir.
Friday morning: The Air Quality Index in New York City dropped to 64, as of 8 a.m. Friday.
What’s next: City officials said smoke is complex to forecast but did say there is a possible chance for improvement in the city’s air quality starting on Thursday evening into Friday morning. They emphasized that the city’s air quality issue will be a multi-day event and conditions can change with little notice due to multiple variables such as winds and wildfire movement.