DENVER (CBS4) – A westerly wind in the atmosphere above Colorado will continue to transport thick, unhealthy wildfire smoke from California. The smoke will keep the air unhealthy for everyone through Tuesday before improvement on Wednesday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has declared the air unhealthy again for all residents on Tuesday regardless of age or health. Outdoor exercise is discouraged and windows should remain closed. It is the 37th consecutive day with unhealthy air due due to smoke and/or ozone and the 50th day since June. The average is about 35 days for the entire summer.
There is also an Air Quality Alert that extends across all 64 counties in Colorado and 23 counties in Wyoming. It may be the first time in the history of the region such an expansive alert has been issued for so many counties simultaneously.
Most of the smoke seen in Colorado is originating from the the Dixie Fire in Northern California which is now the largest wildfire in that state’s history.
The smoke is expected to be moderate to thick again for much of Tuesday for most of Colorado. The exception may be the San Luis Valley and the southern half of the San Juan Mountain region were the smoke should not be as thick compared to Monday.
That improvement should reach Denver and the front Range on Wednesday with noticeably less smoke. Although skies will remain hazy with at least light smoke.
Even more improvement with less smoke is expected on Thursday as the upper-level winds over Colorado continue to shift to southwest. With that shift, the amount of moisture over Colorado will also increase meaning a return to daily afternoon thunderstorms from Thursday through the weekend.