Colorado weather: Air quality still poor across Front Range with rain on the way

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Morning sun pierces the haze around the Denver skyline, seen from the west, Aug. 12, 2022.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires is still filling Colorado's sky Tuesday, putting much of the I-25 corridor from Fort Collins to Pueblo under an air quality advisory.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, air quality in the Denver metro area was at unhealthy levels for sensitive groups. Colorado Springs and Fort Collins are seeing moderate levels of smog.

In those areas, young children, elderly adults and people with heart, lung and other medical conditions should limit physical activity outside. Wildfire smoke contains fine particles that can be dangerous to inhale. Short term exposure can cause several symptoms, including headaches, a runny nose, coughing and difficulty breathing. The air quality advisory, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is in effect until 10:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Smoky skies could clear up Wednesday, when a storm bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms begins to pass through the state. That storm could trigger flash floods near several Colorado burn scars.

"A persistent pattern will continue through at least this weekend, with afternoon thunderstorms likely each day," a National Weather Service forecast said.

Forecasters expect thunderstorms to form in the high country late Wednesday morning and spread into the Eastern Plains by the afternoon. That's when flooding is expected to peak.