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Celebrity meteorologists Al Roker, Ginger Zee, more warn viewers of 'worst air quality in the world' in New York City and beyond

New York City and other Northeastern areas have been engulfed in hazardous smoke as a result of wildfires in Canada

Ginger Zee is seen at 'Good Morning America' on February 14, 2020
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
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Those living in New York City and neighboring Northeastern regions woke up to find their cities engulfed in smoke, which as the day progressed turned into a hazy, deep orange sky — a result of the smoke traveling south from ongoing wildfires in Nova Scotia, Canada.

With the Manhattan skyline and its landmarks eerily disappearing into the yellow fog, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality health advisory through Thursday, citing "unhealthy" quality levels, which have now been deemed the worst of any city in the world, according to according to IQAir, a Swiss monitoring service.

As New Yorkers and more fellow Northeasterners are warned to remain inside or to mask up should they step outdoors, New York-based meteorologists such as Ginger Zee, Sam Champion, and Al Roker are issuing their own warnings to their ABC and NBC viewers.

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"This smoke and haze is for real out here at @lgaairport delaying takeoffs and landings!" wrote beloved Today Show weatherman Al, sharing a video on his Instagram of his view from an airplane, as he waited for his flight to Washington DC to take off.

Though it's unclear whether his flight made it out of La Guardia, the regional airport has since grounded all flights because of the lack of visibility due to the wildfires.

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Good Morning America's own chief meteorologist, Ginger, has been keeping her followers updated on the air crisis on her Instagram, writing in a post early in the morning: "Some of the worst air quality in the world in the Northeast thanks to Canadian wildfires & a stagnant atmospheric pattern."

Photo shared by Ginger Zee on Instagram of the smoke in NYC from the Canadian wildfires© Instagram
Ginger shared a photo of her view of Manhattan engulfed in smoke

She then revealed: "Get used to it – ebbs and flows as far south as Atlanta for today! And we really won't move this out until the weekend & early next week depending on your location."

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The morning show star later shared another photo of New York's foggy, orange sky, where she said: "Preliminary numbers show this is the worst air quality in the 24 years records have been kept by the @epagov in the Northeast."

She also shared a video on TikTok giving more insight into the scary weather, explaining that an "omega block" is in part why the smoke is being pushed down to the Northeast. 

The topic of climate change has naturally been thrust into the conversation, with many blaming climate change inaction as partly to blame for the frequency and severity of wildfires in the US. 

The tramway to Roosevelt Island crosses the East River as smoke from Canadian wildfires casts a haze over the area on June 7, 2023 in New York City. Air pollution alerts were issued across the United States due to smoke from wildfires that have been burni© Getty
View from the tramway to Roosevelt Island

In her video, Ginger explained that "85% of wildfires in the US are started by humans," and that while some wildfires are caused purposefully in order to protect forests, our planet's heightened greenhouse gas emissions can intensify them by making heat and drought last longer.

Ginger's ABC colleague Sam Champion also discussed the smoke crisis with his followers, warning that people should try their best to not go out, as the smoke continues to worsen throughout the evening.

The skyline of lower Manhattan is seen past pedestrians as smoke from wildfires in Canada cause hazy conditions in New York City on June 7, 2023. An orange-tinged smog caused by Canada's wildfires shrouded New York on Wednesday, obscuring its famous skysc© Getty
The skyline of lower Manhattan, blurred out by smoke

As of Wednesday afternoon, states placed under "Code Red" by are New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Vermont, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Connecticut, and Maryland.

Tweet from PopBase of photo of NYC amid wildfires© PopBase on Twitter

Approximately 90 million people in the US are being impacted by the smoke, and especially concerning is small particulate matter, which NBC News describes as "air that measures less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter" that is small enough to be breathed so deep into the lungs, that it can enter the bloodstream.

New Yorkers have masked up to protect themselves from the smoke© Getty
New Yorkers have masked up to protect themselves from the smoke

As a result, wildfire smoke can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, plus an increased risk of a respiratory infection.

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