Allegany County air quality improves, southern parts in drought condition, heavy rain forecast near start of next week

Unhealthy air quality has dropped back below the the alert stage this morning in Allegany County, although conditions in neighboring Cattaraugus, Wyoming and the rest of Western New York and Pennsylvania still are considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, all being just one component of shifting weather conditions over the next several days.

In the meantime, the Abnormally Dry conditions in the southern part of the county, along with adjoining Pennsylvania areas, including Potter and McKean counties, have intensified to a Moderate Drought designation by the U.S. Drought Monitor, as shown on the map accompanying this story.

The Air Quality Alert, which had intensified during the week, now has dropped back to a Moderate designation, under the 100 alert level, for Allegany and other counties to the east.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is showing at this writing Steuben and others in Central New York still under an air quality alert, but the National Weather Service at Binghamton reports this morning that it is “working to get it removed from our website (Which in turn is likely still causing a notification to show up in most phone apps).”

Lowering of air quality alert
The state Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) yesterday afternoon had signaled a lowering of local levels for today, although it doesn’t post new maps until after midnight.

Although Allegany County is designated as part of the Western New York region for many state purposes and the NWS forecast office at Buffalo region, it is part of the Central New York territory for air quality designations and divisions for some other state and federal operations.

The differences between Abnormally Dry and Moderate Drought conditions are shown on the graphic accompanying this report.

The NYSDEC drought map continues to show all of New York at a Normal stage, although it often appears to run behind the U.S. Drought Monitor designations.

Fire Danger Risk and Upcoming Rain
The fire danger risk, as we reported yesterday, has dropped from High to Moderate, although state officials note that “while the statewide burn ban is no longer in effect, brush burning should only be done when absolutely necessary,” adding that “burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round in New York State.”

A strong chance of up to a quarter inch of rain, with thunderstorms, is being forecast for after noon today for Allegany County, with slight chances of afternoon showers Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, the NWS Weather Prediction Center is forecasting a Marginal chance of excessive rain, with the NWS at Buffalo indicating the possibility for as much as three-quarters to an inch of rain falling, primarily during the day.

No information was available immediately as to the potential impact of such rainfall.

Tomorrow’s Genesee River Wilds Annual Float from Wellsville to the Town of Amity was postponed yesterday due to low water levels.

Being Aware, Prepared, and Staying Safe
The daily air quality map is available at, the fire map at, and the U.S. Drought Monitor at

Greater weather details for the next seven days and beyond for Allegany County, regionally and nationally are available through our Weather Resources link on this website.

This new, exclusive page of forecasts and other information from National Weather Services offices at Buffalo, for Allegany County west, Binghamton for Steuben County east, and State College, Pa., for Potter and McKean counties in Pennsylvania, along with regional and national data, also is available directly at

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