On the afternoon of June 6th, Hoboken + Jersey City residents started noticing a drastic shift in weather conditions — a blanket of smoky fog seemed to fall over the sky and the sun beamed firey orange. As it turns out, there is quite literally something in the air: the rundown of smoke from the hundreds of wildfires currently burning in Canada. The outside world not only looks post-apocalyptic right now, but the carryover from the fires has reduced the air quality in North Jersey drastically, posing health threats to those in “sensitive groups.” The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued an Air Quality Alert for the City of Hoboken, and in light of the current conditions, Hoboken has canceled all city recreation programs for June 7th. Read on for what we know about the current air quality conditions in New Jersey, as well as what precautions to take to stay safe.
Updates as of June 8th
On June 7th at 4PM, the air quality condition in Hoboken had been upgraded to “hazardous,” by the NJDEP — but as of June 8th at 11PM, the air quality in Hoboken dropped to “very unhealthy,” per the most recent Nixel alert. The City of Hoboken has canceled the following activities for June 8th:
- Outdoor recreation programs
- All permitted activities on outdoor city-owned facilities
- Southwest Resiliency Park Farmers’ Market
- Fitness in the Park
- Concerts in the Park
You can read the full Nixel alert here. The NJDEP encourages residents to continue taking precautions. Keep reading to learn more about what’s going on and how to stay safe.
Wildfires in Canada
Wildfire season in Canada usually lasts from April-September, but the Washington Post reported yesterday that “Canada’s government expects ‘higher-than-normal fire activity'” due to “a combination of ongoing drought conditions and hot temperature forecasts.” So how does this affect Hoboken? Per the Weather Channel, after a rash of wildfires broke out in the Canadian province of Quebec, the fires were fanned by strong winds around low pressure near the New England coast, which is why the smoke is traveling to the Northeast region of the U.S. You can track smoke in the area using this map here.
What’s Happening in Hoboken
The air quality index, which measures how safe air is to breathe, must be at 100 to be considered healthy — per AirNow, the current index in Hoboken is 175, which is why the Air Quality Alert from the NJDEP remains in place. The polluted air is dangerous for members of “sensitive groups,” which the City of Hoboken specifies as “those with heart or lung conditions, the elderly and children,” and advises to reduce their time outdoors. Those in sensitive situations are advised to:
- Stay indoors if possible.
- Keep doors and windows shut.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
- Keep outdoor activities short, if necessary.
- Move physical activities indoors or reschedule them.
- Wear a mask if outdoors.
Those without pre-existing conditions should take precautions, too. Per the Weather Chanel, the smoke can trigger health problems like “coughing, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and other immediate effects.” The Guide for Particle Pollution from the NJDEP advises everyone to reduce long or intense activities and take more breaks during outdoor activities. See the full guide here.
(Photo Credit: @yoajp)
As of now, experts expect these patterns to continue for “the next day or so,” but over the weekend forecast predicts a new weather pattern that will help “cage the upper-level wind direction” and clear out remaining smoke in the Northeast region, according to the Weather Channel.
Per a Nixle alert sent out at 3:30PM, the air quality in Hoboken is now listed as hazardous. You can read the full Nixle alert here.
All City of Hoboken recreational activities have been canceled for Wednesday, June 7th. Fitness in the Park class with Jane Do has been canceled and the outdoor Fitness in the Park class with CROSSFIT Hoboken has been moved inside. Contact the studio at (973) 296-3273 for more information. See the full Nixle alert here.
This is an ongoing situation, so as always, we’ll keep you up to date with details as they unfold. Follow @thehobokengirl on social media for more updates.