DENVER (CBS4) – The first day of fall will include unusually warm temperatures statewide. But it’s nothing compared to the heat coming to Colorado later this week.
The autumnal equinox occurred at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and marks the time the sun is directly over the equator. After today, the nights will be longer than the days and this will be true until the spring equinox next March.
Tuesday will also be the sixth day in a row with temperatures reaching at least the 80s along the Front Range. Usually the Denver area is in the 70s during the second half of September. There is also a small chance for light rain showers almost anywhere in the state during the afternoon and evening on Tuesday. A rumble of thunder is also possible but not likely.
There will also be considerably less wildfire smoke in most of the state on Tuesday compared to recent days. Air quality in the Denver metro area has improved to “moderate” and there are no air pollution advisories due to smoke for the first time in more than week.
It’s a different story in far northern Colorado where Air Quality Advisories continue for Larimer, Jackson and Routt Counties including Steamboat Springs, Walden and Fort Collins/Loveland. Smoke mainly coming from the Cameron Peak Fire near Red Feather Lakes and the Mullen Fire near Centennial, Wyoming, will continue to create poor air quality in these areas.
Meanwhile, smoke is expected to be steered back to the Denver metro area on Wednesday and advisories are likely to be issued again for bad air quality.
Less smoke should prevail on Thursday. But as the smoke decreases, temperatures will increase and record heat is possible for the end of the week.
The record high temperature in Denver for Sept. 24 (Thursday) is 89 degrees set in 1992 and for September 25 the record is 91 degrees set in 1998. Both of these records could be broken.