It was almost one year ago that Upstate New York and much of the eastern portion of the United States experienced cloudy, smoggy days because of thick, unsafe smoke from the Canadian wildfires.

Will Central New York see the smog again this spring and early summer? The answer is probably yes.

Already there are wildfires in western Canada that are burning out of control, forcing entire towns there to evacuate because of the heavy poisonous smoke. Because of the south easterly winds, central New York has been spared the smog, but much of the Great Lakes region including Minnesota, are already clouding up because of the wildfire's smoke. Additionally, the wildfires from 2023 were in eastern Canada, which drifted down into the northeastern U.S..

Air quality for most of Upstate New York is expected to be good over the next few days, with a primary pollutant air quality index of 52, which falls into the moderate category. Last year, when the smoke was at its worst, Central New York was gettin g readings of between 150 AQI to 400 AQI, which was deemed dangerous to spend too much time outdoors.

Forecasters say that as of this morning, there were over 140 fires burning out of control in northeast Canada. Because the fires are so far to the west, it's expected that we won't see the heavy thick smoke we saw last year in the immediate forecast, however, high smoke cover from Canada could somewhat effect our skies and air quality later this week and into the weekend.

(Update) Forecasters now say it's unlikely that we in the northeast will experience smoke from the western Canadian fires, as long as the jet stream remains constant.

For a reading of the current air quality click here.

The 35 Poorest Counties in New York State

Our friends at 27/7 WallSt have done it again. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, the website identified the 35 poorest counties in New York State.

Data included poverty levels, unemployment numbers, overall population, and median household incomes. Can you guess which county came in at #1?

Gallery Credit: Megan

A Look Inside Exit 31 Exotic, Utica's First Marijuana Dispensary

Townsquare Utica was on scene for the grand opening of Exit 31 Exotic, Utica's first officially licensed pot shop. The store is located at 255 Genesee Street in Downtown Utica.

Gallery Credit: Megan

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New York State

While New York is certainly home to a plethora of hidden gems and breathtaking sights, Road Snacks has highlighted the state's most undesirable spots.

As for what determines what makes a city or town one of the "worst" places to live, Road Snacks compared 163 cities with 5,000 or more residents, to find those with the lowest median home value, weakest school districts, and highest rates of unemployment and crime. In short, the survey ranked cities and towns based off their economic performance and opportunity for growth, which Road Snacks says impacts the quality of life of its residents.

In the end, these 10 cities were deemed to be the worst New York State has to offer. That said, the company is not calling these cities bad - so if you have an issue, take it up with Road Snacks. We're just reporting their findings.

Gallery Credit: Megan


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