Hazy Skies Have Returned

September 15th, 2020
Smoke from wildfires in California and Oregon has been blown to states as far east as the...
Smoke from wildfires in California and Oregon has been blown to states as far east as the Dakotas.(KGWN)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT
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Earlier this summer the sunny skies were made murky by smoke from the wildfires in California. That is once again the case today, where clear skies over Wyoming look, well, not so clear. The air quality across the Cowboy State has dropped thanks to smoke from the Cameron Peak fire in Colorado (for SE Wyoming) and the fires in California (the rest of the state). The winds this afternoon are shifting to a more northerly flow, which will stop pulling in smoke from Colorado. However, there is smoke in Montana as well thanks to clockwise wind flow around a high pressure system that has camped out over the western US. It has driven smoke up from southern California through Oregon, Idaho, and Montana and has even reached the Dakotas. The fires in Oregon have also provided smoke that has blown into Montana and the Dakotas. The northerly winds this afternoon will pull smoke southward from Montana, keeping the hazy skies over Wyoming.

The fire weather risk for Wyoming this afternoon has dropped thanks to a lack of strong winds across the state for today. The SPC has not issued any categorical risks, and the NWS has not issued any Red Flag Warnings. Despite this, the threat still remains high. Drought conditions across the state are the highest they have been all summer, and humidity values are still extremely low. Any burning activities should be limited to grilling or a campfire inside a ring of some sorts. When it comes to the Wyoming drought, there unfortunately isn’t much relief in sight. Rain chances are escalating very slightly for the eastern half of the state on Saturday when a few scattered showers are possible. There’s another chance for some scattered showers early next week. That’s it. Precipitation forecasts for into next week remain well below average for this time of year while temperatures are expected to remain well above average for the same time frame.

As we get towards the end of the week, the haze may calm down just a little bit, however Wyoming could realistically be dealing with the murky skies into the weekend, especially places such as Casper that are expected to have southwest winds throughout much of the rest of the week and into the weekend. In fact, strong winds from the southwest (20-25 mph sustained) are expected on Saturday for locations such as Rawlins and Casper. These could either bring more haze to Wyoming or help to blow some of it away. On that note, if the haze is still here come Saturday, the rain chances for that day will all but evaporate.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

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