Rain briefly knocks down haze; wildfire smoke expected to linger in the Yampa Valley until Monday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Rainfall provided some respite from the haze in the Yampa Valley on Saturday, but wildfire smoke and dry skies returned to the area Sunday.
Rainfall collects smoke particles and carries them to the ground, clearing them from the air, according to Scott Stearns, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
Smoke is expected to remain in the area until Monday afternoon. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said some of this smoke is from out-of-state fires, but smoke from the Silver Creek Fire is also contributing to the haze.
“Winds on Sunday and Monday will come from the northwest, carrying smoke to the southeast of the fire, with gusty and erratic winds possible with isolated storms,” the agency wrote on its website. “Overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, smoke will settle into low lying areas along the Yampa Valley to the west of the fire, as well as the Williams Fork Reservoir area to the east. Smoke from this fire will be visible from Kremmling, Yampa, Phippsburg and Steamboat Springs.”
Saturday’s showers brought about a quarter inch of rain to the area. In Steamboat Springs, weather stations in the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network reported receiving between 0.22 to 0.44 inches. Clark area stations reported 0.08 to 0.22 inches of rainfall, and stations in South Routt reported between 0.13 to 0.44 inches.
Looking forward, temperatures this week are forecasted to be in the high 70s and mid-80s. Monday will be sunny with a light, 5 to 10 mile per hour wind blowing in from the west.
A storm moving in from the Pacific will bring a cold front, initially hitting north of Steamboat in Wyoming.
“However, by Tuesday afternoon and especially overnight, monsoonal moisture and energy will then move over our area, bringing a good chance of accumulating rainfall,” said Steamboat-based meteorologist Michael Weissbluth, who runs snowalarm.com.
Drier air is expected to move in after the storm, bringing sunshine back to Routt County later in the week.
Into the weekend, Weissbluth said there is a possibility of additional precipitation as a high-pressure ridge is expected to move east, which Weissbluth said “will re-open the door to more monsoonal moisture.”
“Some of this moisture may move over our area by late in the weekend for an increasing chance of showers as early as Sunday,” he said.
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