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Cold front brings smoke relief

Sep 5, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The smoke that has obscured the Wind River Mountains for the past few days lifted slightly Tuesday to reveal at least the foothills of the range west of Riverton.

"It's nowhere near as bad as it was," National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Skrbac said Tuesday. "We actually see the mountains."

The smoke was particularly heavy Monday, limiting visibility and creating a noticeable scent across much of the Riverton Valley.

Northwest air flows have been bringing the smoke in from fires in Montana and northern Idaho, he said, though blazes burning on the west coast and in Canada may contribute to the haze as well.

"It's kind of a combination depending on the flow and the fronts in the area," he said. "The West is pretty smoky."

Travelers from both Denver and central Nebraska on Monday reported smoke in both neighboring states.

Getting better

Skrbac attributes Tuesday's improvement to a cold front that moved through the area, lifting the smoke layer upward a few thousand feet.

He predicts visibility will continue to get better later this week as air flows start coming from the west and southwest, as opposed to the northwest.

"(There are) not many fires down to the south," he said. "There's very little in Utah and Nevada."

The southwest flows will bring "pseudo monsoonal moisture" to Fremont County, he said, forecasting some light precipitation in the western mountains and lower elevations Thursday and Friday.

Skrbac isn't sure whether Fremont County will get any more 90-degree days this summer: For the next week he said high temperatures will only hit the high 80s at most.

"It is September now, so it's getting harder and harder to get too many 90s," he said. "The days are getting shorter, and fall is here in a couple weeks."

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Smoke from wildfires in other states collected Monday in the Wind River Basin, turning the sun deep orange. A telephoto lens revealed sunspots on the solar surfice. Photo by Randy Tucker

Smoke from wildfires in other states collected Monday in the Wind River Basin, turning the sun deep orange. A telephoto lens revealed sunspots on the solar surfice. Photo by Randy Tucker


Smoke from wildfires in other states collected Monday in the Wind River Basin, turning the sun deep orange. A telephoto lens revealed sunspots on the solar surfice. Photo by Randy Tucker

Smoke from wildfires in other states collected Monday in the Wind River Basin, turning the sun deep orange. A telephoto lens revealed sunspots on the solar surfice. Photo by Randy Tucker

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2017-09-24