DENVER (CBS4) – After a break from thick wildfire smoke that lasted several days, Colorado is bracing for a return of smoke on Monday that will quickly worsen air quality across much of the state.

The smoke will initially be in Wyoming Monday morning and will gradually move south through the day. The worse of the smoke for the Denver metro area will probably wait until Monday evening. An Air Quality Alert for Denver and the Front Range is likely for Tuesday. Prior to Sunday, Denver had experienced 41 consecutive days with an Air Quality Alert.

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(source: CBS)

Once the smoke arrives, it will be moderate to thick through Tuesday with some of the thickest smoke likely found on the Eastern Plains. Almost all of the smoke is originating from the large Dixie Fire in Northern California which had burned more than 850 square miles as of Sunday.

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(source: CBS)

It will also be quite warm again on Monday and Tuesday with high temperatures well into the 90s.

(source: CBS)

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A shift in the weather pattern will occur late Wednesday as a summer cold front arrives. The front will cause temperatures to drop at least 10 degrees going into Thursday along with a good chance for showers and a few thunderstorms in the metro area. Until then Denver and most lower elevations will stay dry while daily chances for afternoon thunderstorms continue in the mountains.

Meteorologist Ashton Altieri