If the sky over Long Island looked a bit hazy Tuesday and an acrid smell seemed to linger in the air, it wasn't your imagination.
Plumes of smoke, courtesy of wildfires raging in eastern Canada's Nova Scotia province, were making their way over New York and throughout the northeast United States Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The smoke did not get low enough to the surface Tuesday to affect the region's air quality, but did create unusually hazy conditions, with some minor visibility restrictions, from portions of Maine south through southern New England and Long Island.
Winds are expected to blow from the northeast Wednesday, eventually pushing the smoke into New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, but more "widespread haze" is forecast for Long Island, likely moving out by Thursday.
"You may notice maybe a slight tinge in the color to the sky; maybe a little grayer at times when it's a little denser, higher up in the air and you'll probably notice that most at sunrise and sunset," said Bryan Ramsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton. "It's really causing those vibrant colors to come out whenever the sun is shining through the smoke layer."
The wildfires, which have been raging for several days during an abnormally dry period in the south of Nova Scotia, have damaged or destroyed 200 homes near Halifax while forcing more than 16,000 people to evacuate, according to news reports.
The weather service issued Code Orange air quality alerts for most of New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania for Wednesday, meaning the air outside could be harmful to vulnerable groups.