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Heat, fire threat, and air quality warnings in Hudson Valley

Apr 14, 2023 1:01 pm

Summer-like weather took over the Hudson Valley this past week, with record high temperatures, brush fires, and air quality warnings. The temperature at Albany International Airport reached 88 degrees on April 13, breaking the previous record of 87 for that date set in 1977. Poughkeepsie also broke its high temperature record April 13 with 90 degrees reported there. The entire Hudson Valley was given a high fire danger rating from the Department of Environmental Conservation, and brush fires were reported in Orange County and in Schoharie County. Forest Ranger Lieutenant Scott Jackson explained why conditions are ripe for fires, saying, “The tree leaves aren’t out yet, the green grass hasn’t started growing, and the sunlight is hitting the ground directly.... The dead grass and leaves are readily available to burn, especially when we have drier conditions like we are having this week with temperatures above normal.” The annual prohibition on residential brush burning continues through May 14. New York's Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health also issued an air quality health advisory for much of the Hudson Valley on April 14 because of elevated levels of ozone. The good news, for these weather problems, is that rain is forecast for the weekend and beginning of the week, which should lessen the heat, fire threat, and poor air quality.

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