Image: Veil of dangerous wildfire smoke lifts from northeastern cities

The Aqua satellite shows smoke descending from Canada into the Northeast from July 16 to July 20, 2021. (NASA/AQUA)

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – July 22, 2021 –  Burning throat or difficulty breathing this week? AccuWeather meteorologists say wildfires in Canada may be to blame.

Smoke and ash traveled 1,000 miles toward the northeastern United States as the result of large wildfires burning in Canada this week. The conditions forced air quality advisories to be issued in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., where the smoke caused health problems. However, a cold front that passed through the region Wednesday helped to clear the atmosphere.

According to Plume Labs, the air quality index (AQI) reading in New York City reached 130 Tuesday night -- the second-highest this year. Philadelphia hit 124, indicating that the air had reached a very high level of pollution.

Effects were felt by individuals at risk, and everyone felt the effects of prolonged exposure. Residents of the northeast quadrant of the country who spent time outside this week may have experienced difficulty breathing and throat irritation.

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