Approaching cold front Saturday will not clear all the smoke

An intense smoke plume from wildfires will cover the region Saturday as the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires picked up overnight. Wind speeds are expected to increase in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder, with gusts hitting up to 21 mph.

NWS meteorologist Evan Direnzo said Saturday temperatures are higher for this time of year, with Saturday’s high to reach near 74 degrees.

“Currently we’re above normal,” Direnzo said. “We’d expect to be in the mid- to low 60s around this time.”

Between noon and 6 p.m. smoke may intensify in the foothills and mountains, including South Park, Direnzo said, prompting a Red Flag Warning. An approaching cold front may change things.

“The cold front should help out with the smoke, but not entirely,” Direnzo said.

The front will cause temperatures to drop to a seasonal range Saturday night, but smoke will still be widespread. Otherwise, the low will be around 35 degrees with light winds.

Smoke will be in the air through Sunday, but temperatures will be in the low 60s.

Dense smoke is expected to spread from #Loveland to #Denver and #Boulder this afternoon. There will be some surface air improvement this evening behind a cold front, though dense smoke plumes aloft will continue.#cowx #CameronPeakFire #EastTroublesomeFire #williamsforkfire

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 17, 2020

Dry conditions and strong winds will keep the fire danger at critical levels over much of the forecast area this afternoon. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Front Range mountains, foothills, and South Park from noon to 6 pm. #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 17, 2020