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Smoky blanket may cover parts of US into weekend

By Lauren Sforza,


Parts of the United States may not see clear skies for a few more days as a smoky haze from Canadian wildfires lingers.

The smoky haze from hundreds of wildfires across Canada has engulfed parts of the U.S., including most of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, prompting air quality warnings. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued air quality alerts for most of the Atlantic seaboard.

Residents across the East Coast and parts of the Midwest may not see air quality relief until the weekend, with Accuweather meteorologist forecasting that New York City and areas in New England can see improvement by Thursday and Friday after the winds shift.

A CNN forecast predicted the smoke plumes will continue to be pushed south Thursday, meaning Delaware, Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington may be seeing a thicker haze of smoke.

As of Thursday morning, the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania was reporting “hazardous” levels of air quality, and most of the mid-Atlantic was still seeing “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” levels of air quality.

U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Ramsey told The Associated Press that a low-pressure system over Maine and Nova Scotia that’s driving the smoke “will probably be hanging around at least for the next few days,”

“Conditions are likely to remain unhealthy, at least until the wind direction changes or the fires get put out,” Ramsey added. “Since the fires are raging — they’re really large — they’re probably going to continue for weeks. But it’s really just going be all about the wind shift.”

More than 400 wildfires in Canada left 20,000 people displaced, and the U.S. has sent resources and hundreds of firefighters to help.

Updated at 7:53 a.m.

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