Meteorologists issued heat warnings for Puerto Rico and Texas, cautioning residents about potentially dangerous heat conditions with heat indexes surpassing 110 degrees in some areas, Your Content has learned.
Although these warnings are localized, they highlight the contrast to the recent widespread air quality concerns caused by a smoky haze from Canada’s wildfires that affected the eastern United States earlier in the week.
Air Quality Alerts were in effect on the East Coast from Wednesday to Friday, prompting measures such as remote learning in schools and advising residents to stay indoors or wear protective face masks outdoors.
The impact of the smoggy air on vulnerable residents without proper shelter raised concerns among social justice advocates.
Fortunately, air quality has improved along the East Coast since Wednesday and Thursday when the region experienced hazardous levels of pollution from smoke carried by winds from Canadian wildfires, combined with fires in the United States.
On Saturday, meteorologists reported “good” to “moderate” levels of particle pollution along the I-95 corridor, although some hazy smoke may still be visible at higher altitudes in cities like New York and Philadelphia. However, it is not expected to affect breathing.
The dispersion of smoke has been facilitated by shifting winds, as confirmed by meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
While there are still isolated areas with poor air quality, such as Detroit, Indianapolis, and parts of Ohio, which pose risks for sensitive groups and the general population, overall improvement is observed.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is under a heat alert with heat index temperatures potentially exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit across the entire island.
The combination of high temperatures and humidity creates dangerous conditions that could lead to heat-related illnesses, according to the weather service.
Similarly, cities in South Texas, including Corpus Christi, Victoria, and Laredo, are also under a heat advisory, with heat index temperatures expected to reach 110 degrees or higher.
Experts advise residents to reschedule strenuous outdoor activities to cooler parts of the day and be vigilant for signs of heat exhaustion.
Hydration and frequent breaks are strongly recommended for those who must be outside, according to USA Today.