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New Jersey + NYC Area May Experience Low Air Quality Today

by Danielle Farina
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Nearly 20 days since New Jersey + NYC were covered in a blanket of smoky fog from Canadian wildfires, officials warn that the region may be impacted by low air quality from the fires — again. New York’s Governor Hochul has issued an air quality alert on Wednesday, June 28th and encourages residents to “mask up” (an all-too-familiar suggestion) as the carryover from the fires poses health threats to those in “sensitive groups.” While the air quality index in Hoboken is currently at 50 (which signifies good air quality), it’s likely that conditions could travel to our city, given its proximity to NYC, with other regions already experiencing poorer air quality. Here’s everything you need to know about the current air quality alert in NYC and what it might mean for Hoboken. Keep reading for the latest updates, as well as a timeline of previous air quality alerts this past month. 

 

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Updates as of June 28th

Tuesday, June 28th, Gov. Hochul of New York issued an air quality alert for New York City. Per News12, the alert means that “while they currently project air quality index to be in the moderate range (between 51-100) today, wind patterns can quickly change without notice.” The alert is a precautionary measure in light of the threatening air quality conditions the Northeast saw earlier this month. Officials warn that air quality conditions can also worsen on Thursday.

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Currently, over 300 wildfires continue burning in Canada. The carryover from the smoke poses threats to those in “sensitive groups,” who are encouraged to check the air quality before heading outside. NYC officials also encourage residents to “mask up,” an all-too-familiar plea, but one to be taken seriously.

Of course, the proximity of Hoboken + Jersey City to New York City means that these conditions could reach the area, too. Right now, the air quality in Hoboken is good, but be sure to keep an eye on any changes by tracking AirNow.

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We’ll continue to keep you updated as details unfold. For now, stay safe, and keep reading for previous updates on air quality conditions from earlier this month.

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.
  • Buy a home air filter to help with indoor air quality
  • Walk pets only to do their business, then back indoors

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.

new jersey smoke june 2023

(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.

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