Hazy days in Aspen come from Idaho ﬁres
September 21, 2012
ASPEN – Fall colors are peaking this week, but leaf peepers are having trouble peeking.
A haze has been present for at least part of the day over the past several days, and the National Weather Service forecast for the Aspen area predicts more haze Friday and Saturday.
“A lot of it is just smoke from areas in the Northwest,” said Dan Cuevas, a technician with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. “The bigger ones are in Idaho. They’re also in Oregon and Washington.”
The National Interagency Fire Center reported Thursday that there are eight “active, large fires” in Idaho, five in Washington, four in Oregon and three in Wyoming.
There is a large high-pressure system hanging over the West. That not only creates the mild weather the Aspen area is experiencing, it also reduces circulation in the atmosphere, Cuevas said. So the haze hangs over the mountains and obscures the view of that intense blue sky. The haze is widespread over Colorado but doesn’t extend into the Four Corners area, he said.
The ridge of high pressure is expected to move east Saturday, and upper-level winds will emerge out of the southwest.
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“That should help move the smoke out,” Cuevas said.
Aspen’s forecast includes a slight chance for showers on Monday.