080621-news-air-quality 06

People visit Garden of the Gods Park with hazy skies looming in Colorado Springs last week

. The haze is due to wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Hazy skies over Colorado Springs will abate some on Sunday, the National Weather Service said, as the worst of the smoke rolls through the city Saturday afternoon.

Smoke will still hang over the city in certain areas, the agency said, in contrast to the widespread smoke filtering throughout the area on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re experiencing smoke coming in right now, but we anticipate that tomorrow we’re gonna get clearing throughout the day because the main brunt of the smoke is actually passing over us right now,” meteorologist Paul Steward said Saturday afternoon.

For the most part, that smoke has come from out-of-state wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Winds on Sunday will temporarily shift southeastward, Steward said, but will largely continue pointing toward the northwest at five to ten miles per hour throughout the day, helping to displace some of the city’s haze.

“As the winds continue to pick up tomorrow out of the northwest, it’s gonna eventually draw in some clearer air behind it, so we’ll see conditions improving.”

After 7 p.m. on Sunday, the National Weather Service expects that air conditions will be better, and have not yet forecast areas of smoke in the area.

This week’s heat, however, is expected to continue on Sunday, with a forecast high near 91 degrees during the day in Colorado Springs.

On Saturday, Springs residents saw widespread smoke over the city, as around 21 counties in Colorado faced air quality health advisories as a result of the wildfire smoke.

Among the worst affected by Saturday’s smokescreen were Denver residents, who saw the Mile High City top rankings on IQAir, a website that rates air pollution in major cities across the world, with an air quality index of 192.

Those conditions, meteorologists in Boulder said, could improve after Saturday, but air quality in the region may still be poor.

"It's tough coming from such a bad day of smoke to say it's improving or be better really, because if we hadn't had today; tomorrow and Monday would still be some of the smokiest days of the summer," meteorologist Russell Danielson said.

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