Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The haze that settled in the Yampa Valley the past few days should begin to dissipate today and disappear by Wednesday, meteorologists say.
"From what we can tell, we think most of the haze we've seen the last couple of days is a result of the smoke produced by the California fires," said Mike Chamberlain, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
On Monday, firefighters worked to contain the last of the Southern California fires, which have sent flames across more than 500,000 acres while destroying more than 2,000 homes and killing seven people.
Aided by damp weather, firefighters finally were able to get a grasp on the fires last weekend. However, the Santa Ana winds that helped fuel the fires could return this week.
Chamberlain said smoke is being driven in Colorado's direction because of a low-pressure system off California's coast.
"That's producing a southwest flow aloft over the Great Basin and into Western Colorado," he said. "We feel that most of that smoke that is being produced by the fires is being brought northward and eastward into Western Colorado.
"We'll gradually see a decrease in the smoke aloft," Chamberlain said.
Smoke aside, temperatures in Steamboat are expected to drop heading into the weekend, with high temperatures in the upper 40s.
A storm system will move into the area tonight, Chamberlain said, bringing the potential for snow on Halloween.
"It does not look like a big storm, but I'm sure the mountains will pick up some snowfall," Chamberlain said.
He said accumulations likely would be less than 2 inches.