The air in New York City yesterday was more polluted than it was on 9-11

June 8 — When you look out across the mountains in our area, it seems like it’s a high-humidity day in August. 

But that haze isn’t water. It’s smoke from Canadian wildfires and the effects have been felt all along the east coast. 

Forecasters are predicting the worst of it in our area will be seen and felt today and tomorrow and that it will hopefully be out of here by the weekend. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “But you look at those maps. It’s now down into the Carolinas. New York City had the dirtiest air in the world yesterday according to those readings that read air quality. The air in New York had a higher reading for pollution yesterday than it did on 9-11. It just tells you how dense that smoke must be in New York City.”

Apparently street lights were coming on in the middle of the afternoon yesterday in NYC. 

Barkdoll advised, “So be careful today. Listen to the experts. Try to stay inside as much as you can. I saw an advisory even to try to keep your pets inside, but hopefully by the weekend this goes away. This is certainly an odd situation, something we’ve never dealt with to this extent.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “Although the forest fires, the smoke coming down from Canada does not have anything to do with modern day climate change. They had this situation in the 1770s I believe. There was recording in history of a time when New York City got so dark they had to light candles in the middle of the day and it was from forest fires in Canada. A lot of people from the west are saying, hey, we deal with this all the time. You’re just really paying attention now because it’s happening in the northeast, but we have forest fires and wildfires out here. This has nothing to do with fossil fuels or anything like that, but they’re going to try to hook it to that it’s just an opportunity for them.”

Barkdoll said, “It is just kind of this unusual alignment of events. The jet stream is such that it’s stuck over this area of the mid-Atlantic. We’ve not had rain for many weeks and all these ingredients together are just exacerbating this. It’s just this kind of collection of factors right now that are carrying that smoke, hundreds and thousands of miles and it’s just hanging out over these areas. So again, hopefully if we can get through today and tomorrow by the weekend we’re in the clear, but I do think people should be cautious today and tomorrow on what you’re doing outside if you can avoid it.”

New England’s Dark Day was May 19, 1780. They day darkened due to a combination of forest fires and cloud cover. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “You know the other thing actually struck a chord. They’re saying yesterday was worse than 9-11 in New York. That’s pretty remarkable.”

Barkdoll agreed, “That really stood out to me to just the level of pollution in the area. It just tells you how dense it must be in New York. And of course New York is the concrete jungle. There’s very little vegetation that would help screen or shield any of the smoke. If you saw those time lapse videos yesterday, it had this weird orange color over New York City. By mid-afternoon, it got very dark. They canceled of course sporting events in New York City last night and I saw a lot of employers up there today telling people not to come into the office. Work from home if you’re able to.”

Jansen added, “The map is showing that the particulate is moving to the west. So Chambersburg was at a very unhealthy rating just a couple hours ago. Now it’s hazardous. So yeah, as you see that particulate matter going up that’s where you get those higher hazard ratings.”