Albany, N.Y. (News10)- The hazy skies are making for incredible views of the sun, but the smoke pushing in from raging wildfires in Canada is now diminishing air quality in states well below the northern border.
Dr. Nick Bassill, PhD is the Director of research and development for UAlbany’s Center of Excellence in Weather and Climate Analytics. “When we say particulate matter that’s just a fancy word for little pieces of ash.” Bassill told News10 that on a good day those particulates are in the single digits. “On a day like today, it’s above 100. And that’s very, very unusual for the Capital Region area. And in parts of New York, it’s actually above 200.”
He said that’s why you may feel like it’s tougher to breathe outside today. Bassill showed News10’s Anya Tucker an office at the campus’s ETEC building called the Mesonet. It is an intelligence center of New York’s Early Warning Weather Detection system, data collected from stations across the state is shared publicly to help protect property and save lives. Today, they are detecting smoke patterns across the state. “Some of the wildfires that we’ve been affected by earlier this year, they never reach the surface.” said Bassill. “We’ve just had hazy sunsets, sunrises because it was well above the surface.”
A recent study by Mesonet researchers predicts that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires.