An air quality alert remains in effect for the Front Range and surrounding areas Thursday as wildfire smoke sweeps through the region. The National Weather Service in Boulder issued the alert Wednesday and is set to expire at 4 p.m. Thursday, but Kari Bowen of the National Weather Service in Boulder warns that the alert may be extended later.
“We are expecting this smoke to stay elevated to at least tomorrow,” Bowen said.
NWS warns that a smoke plume from the Mullen fire in Wyoming is heading for Denver, and forecasters are examining several models as to how wind patterns may affect smoke concentration and direction. For Thursday, winds are expected to be calm in Denver with with speeds up to 7 mph with mostly sunny skies and a high near 65 degrees. Smoke will continue Thursday night with a low dropping to 44 degrees.
With partly sunny skies predicted for Friday and a high of 76, Bowen said there’s not much as far as weather patterns that may help with the smoke.
“There’s not a lot going on,” Bowen said. “The winds coming from the northwest are basically pushing that smoke into Denver.”
Bowen said, however, there is a weak cold front coming this weekend. For Saturday, sunny skies are expected with the high reaching 68. It may bring some relief, but the level of intensity is not known.
“This weekend and next week, it depends,” Bowen said. “Fire activity is very high. A weak cold front from the northeast that might help push it out.”
NWS predicts sunny skies will continue in the Denver area with highs averaging in the mid- to upper 70s. Bowen said that there is one thing that is not easy to predict.
“It’s really hard to predict smoke forecast. Smoke should get better this weekend.”
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