Real Relief May Be Weeks Away For Colorado Skies Hazy With Smoke

Photo: Washington Wildfire Aug 23 2015 (AP)
Firefighters walk through heavy smoke Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Twisp, Wash.

The Front Range mountains and foothills remain hidden behind smoke and haze from record-breaking wildfires burning in Washington State, as well as California and Oregon. And if you're sensitive to air quality problems, Tuesday is another day to be cautious about being outdoors, says the state health department.

When is it going to get better? Meteorologist Todd Dankers says that the outlook is, well, hazy.

Dankers expects the haze to briefly clear, especially if the northern Front Range gets rain later this week. Still, as long as the fires are burning, there are no guarantees that the state will be free of smoke.

“It’s possible this could be a temporary improvement here in the next week or so," Dankers said. "But if we see the [air] pattern switch back, there’s going to be plenty of smoke available to come back into Colorado.”

The real relief will come when the fires are put out by some good wet weather systems in the fall. Dankers says late summer weather patterns, like the one we’re seeing now, can stay locked in place for four to six weeks.

Until then, there's a possibility that the smoke we have will be around for a little while.

“It’s kinda tough to forecast smoke and how long it's going hang around. Its kinda tough to forecast that more than a day or two out,” Dankers said.