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AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...and Suffolk. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5.

Winter Weather Prompts LI Schools to Cancel Afternoon Classes & Activities

LongIsland.com

Snow, sleet, and ice is creating a slippery, slushy situation on local roadways, prompting some schools to cancel afternoon & evening classes and activities.

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Although the official first day of winter won't arrive until this upcoming weekend, Long Island has been feeling the season's wrath early, with numerous storms coating the Island in a blanket of snow. Currently, the National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for both Nassau and Suffolk until 6 PM this evening, as well as a Hazardous Weather Outlook, which warns of 2 to 4 inches of snowfall which started off lighter this morning, but will continue to come down more steadily throughout the rest of the afternoon. Although the snow is supposed to taper off by this evening, it is possible that freezing rain or sleet.

In Suffolk County, a handful of School Districts and private schools have cancelled their afternoon and evening activities and classes, in order to keep students and parents safe, and off the roads. With the Winter Weather Advisory in effect until at least 6 PM this evening, and the likelihood of continued precipitation and freezing temperatures, it is possible that other schools will follow suit - be sure to check our School Closures Directory frequently for updates on early dismissals, class cancellations, and closures for today and tomorrow.

With snow and slush covering the roadways, town sand and salt trucks can be seen driving around and making roads safer for cars, although if the snow and sleet continues as predicted, hazardous driving conditions are bound to worsen. Before you head out this afternoon , be sure to get the latest weather update, and check out the LongIsland.com Traffic Center so that you can avoid any wintery messes on the road this evening.

One question many locals are asking is whether or not we'll have a White Christmas here on Long Island - although it is still too early to tell, it is likely that higher temperatures later on this week will wipe out most of the remaining snow on the ground, but there's always a chance you'll be able to warm up by the fire and enjoy a picturesque winter wonderland this holiday.

For the most up to date weather information, head over to the LongIsland.com Weather Center, where you can find the latest weather forecasts, advisories and more.

[Source: National Weather Service]