COLORADO SPRINGS — A shot of the sunrise sent in Wednesday by Jennifer Myers in the Wet Mountain Valley shows lingering smoke over southern Colorado that has been moving up from the south over the last few days.
Right now there are several large wildfires burning in New Mexico, one of which is burning more than 200,000 acres.
And NASA’s smoke scan forecast shows active fire conditions over New Mexico again. You can expect an increase in the smoke plume and atmospheric particulates originating from these fires to continue to move across southern Colorado.
Winds increase Thursday as an upper-level wave over California approaches from the west. This will continue to draw desert air into our state with low humidity and gusty wind creating extreme fire danger.
As a dry cold front moves off of the mountains and heads east Thursday morning, the wind will take on more of a westerly direction, but it should be stronger than Wednesday. Some areas along and west of Interstate 25 are likely to see gusts between 40 and 60 mph through early Thursday afternoon.
Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches are already up for eastern Colorado on Thursday. Even though temperatures will be 10-15 degrees lower, the air will be extremely dry and fires will again spread rapidly if they start. This time, they’d be more likely to spread to the east.
While fire danger remains elevated through the weekend, the wind should be a little lighter and so the danger due to weather conditions will drop a little bit for Friday through Sunday.