Smoke from the eight fires burning in California has made its way east of the Continental Divide and down into the Colorado Front Range cities of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins.
Those folks in Colorado who have trouble breathing in smokey conditions, but think they are far enough away from the raging fires in California, paused before charging out the door today in Eastern Colorado, as smoke from several large California fires made its way across the Rockies before settling into Colorado's Front Range.
Norv Larson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said a high-pressure system on the Arizona-New Mexico border has caused an airflow that is carrying the smoke in an easterly direction.
Larson told the Denver Post that the smoke is rising to about 12,000 feet above Denver and Grand Junction, or 17,000 feet above sea level. "Looking at satellite trajectories, we can follow it all the way back to California," said Larson.
"There is a long line of smoke. These fires are so large and burning so hot, they're generating their own weather and lofting smoke thousands of feet into the atmosphere."
Larson said the smoke has yet to reach the jet stream, which flows at an altitude of about 20,000 feet.
Despite the fact that smoke blocks out some of the sun's rays, temperatures in the Denver metro reached into the low to mid nineties on Tuesday.
Images: Tim Hurst