Smoky conditions to subside, possibly return early next week

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WATERTOWN — The smoke and hazy air that has returned to the north country on Wednesday and Thursday could be moving out of the area as early as Friday, said Liz A. Jurkowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

The smoke the area is seeing is because of the northwesternly flow, Jurkowski said.

Jurkowski said in the short-term the smoke will hang around through Thursday and Friday morning.

“By Watertown, it should be pretty good probably later tonight, into early tomorrow morning,” she said.

She said any northerly winds will start bringing the smoke back into the area.

“The winds will start shifting out of the south eventually later tonight, into tomorrow morning and that’s what’s going to help push it out away from us,” she said.

Jurkowski said the worst of the smoke will be on Thursday.

She said that any number over 100 on the air quality index scale is “pretty bad.”

As of about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the AQI for Watertown was 160, according to, which is in the “unhealthy” category.

Normally, the AQI for the entire state is between 20 to 50.

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