You didn't have to tell me twice not to go outside yesterday. Rain, thunder, and hailstorms combined with poor air quality and smoke blowing down from Canadian wildfires to make a truly apocalyptic scene in the Hudson Valley.

If it was only one (or two) of the abovementioned weather phenomena, I think I could have handled it. This isn't the first time wildfire smoke has traveled thousands of miles to blanket the Hudson Valley, and of course we're no strangers to thunderstorms, but I think the final straw for me were the photos of massive hail falling from the sky in Newburgh, NY (below).

Hail was falling from the sky in Newburgh, NY this week (Jonah/TSM)
Hail was falling from the sky in Newburgh, NY this week (Jonah/TSM)
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Hail in Newburgh, NY

"Big thunderstorm just rolled in here... huge hail!", said the text from my wife. Photos from the town of Newburgh looked like they were taken in the middle of January. The falling hail completely blanketed garden beds and tore the leaves off of growing plants (below). Then came the sunset...

Plants and flowers suffered hail damage during the recent summer thunderstorm (Jonah/TMS)
Plants and flowers suffered hail damage during the recent summer thunderstorm (Jonah/TMS)
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Canada Wildfire Smoke in the Hudson Valley, NY

For weeks now, New Yorkers have been treated to a truly bizarre sight: the wildfire smoke has turned the setting sun a disturbing shade of red. This time, it was my mother who called me from Ulster County, NY. "Do you see the sun right now??", she exclaimed. It was hard to miss.

Shannon Cooke/TSM
The sunset was particularly eerie, with a smoke "filter" turning the sun deep red (Shannon Cooke/TSM)
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Air Quality in the Hudson Valley, NY

Unfortunately, we're not out of the woods (or smoke) yet. Currently, an Air Quality Alert is in effect in the Hudson Valley until midnight on Thursday, June 8th, but that advisory may still extended further. Residents are urged to check their local air quality here before spending extended periods of time outside.

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Besides using common sense (please don't jog 5 miles if it smells like smoke outside), experts suggest using air conditioners to help filter air, as well as avoiding burning more things (including small items like candles) or even vacuuming, as this can recirculate more unhealthy particle that have already settled.

10 Tips To Prevent Wildfires

Smokey The Bear said it best, "only you can prevent wildfires." Well, it's a lot easier said than done, Smokey. Great name for a bear trying to warn us about fire hazards, by the way.

In order to prevent wildfires, you have to first know how they can be prevented. Here are 10 tips provided by the Department Of Interior that will help you in your every day life, so you can enjoy being outside, camping, and having bonfires without it turning into a problem.

Here are their 10 tips, along with some simplified explanations from me.

See How Firefighters Fight Fires Around the World

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