What do you get when you mix hazy, hot, and humid air with lots of air pollution? An Air Stagnation Advisory! Essentially, an air stagnation advisory means we have lots of stale, unhealthy air out there. There are two main types of air pollutants: ozone and particulate matter. Today's culprit is particulate matter, which consists of "acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust". The wind may be blowing, but it is just recirculating the stale, crappy air. During an advisory the state recommends limiting strenuous outdoor activity (no sense getting that crap deep into your lungs). The dirty air is especially bad for the very young, the elderly and people with asthma or heart conditions.
The air is becoming unstable and thunderstorms are likely to pop up later this afternoon and into the night. The showers, which will wash away much of the air pollution, are tricky to forecast because they will be of the hit-or-miss variety. However, the air is laden with plenty of precipitable water and is unstable enough that the thunderstorms that do kick off will likely be intense. Intense in this case meaning lots of rain, small hail flooding, and gusty winds. The threat of thunderstorms decreases from west of the city eastward. Gothamist, who did not bring our umbrella to work today, will go out on a limb and say that most of us won't see rain, but those of us who do get rained upon will really get rained upon.
The sticky air and chance of thunderstorms will be with us for the rest of the week except for a brief break for the summer solstice on Wednesday. Temperatures will be on the mild-to-hot side for several days before cooling off by next weekend.
Hazy view of NYC from Newark from the Hazecam.net. No, we don't know why the image isn't showing up.