Thick smoke from Canadian wildfires has led to hazardous air quality in the Northeast. Many across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania observed hazardous air conditions. The smoke was the thickest Wednesday, but it looks to lighten heading into Thursday.

In New York City specifically, the air quality was so bad Wednesday because of the smoke that it broke a nearly 40 year old record. The Air Quality Index, or AQI, reached a peak value of 413 during the 4 o’clock hour Thursday afternoon.

‘I can taste the air’: Hazardous smoke from wildfires hangs over millions in Canada, US

When the AQI reaches this level, it becomes hazardous for people to be outdoors. Many Air Quality alerts were issued and the residents were urged to stay indoors. If it was absolutely necessary to be outdoors many wore masks and also limit the time they spend outside.

Worst AQI On Record For Huntsville:

When looking at the Huntsville area, the worst AQI on record was observed on July 22nd, 1993. On that date, the level reached the unhealthy range with a rating of 215.

Here’s how you can check the air quality where you live

On Wednesday afternoon, the AQI rose to 105 in Huntsville. With a thicker plume of smoke filtering into the region, it meant more pollutants in the atmosphere. With the level that high, it became unhealthy for those who suffer from health problems such as asthma and COPD. It is recommended that when levels exceed 100 limit the amount of strenuous activity outdoors.

The thick plume of smoke that led to a higher AQI Wednesday will continue to push south Thursday. A cold front passage late Wednesday night into Thursday will help push the smoke in the atmosphere toward Central Alabama. While there won’t be thick smoke in place, we could still experience hazy conditions Thursday and Friday.

Stick with the Weather Authority for the latest on your forecast!