DENVER — Yes, the smog was really that bad on Monday.
According to air quality tracking website IQAir, Denver's air quality levels on Monday were some of the worst among the world's major cities. With an average air quality level of about 120, Denver's air quality on Monday afternoon was worse than that of places like Mexico City, Mexico, and Beijing, China.
Those levels are based on concentrations of PM2.5, the most typical way to measure air quality. An air quality level of 120 is also roughly four times the World Health Organization's (WHO) maximum exposure recommendations.
Monday's Denver air quality was also the worst air quality of any major city in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-worst air quality of any major city in the world.
Wildfire smoke has started to budge back into eastern Colorado in recent days, thanks to wildfires across the Northwest and southwestern Canada. In recent weeks, most of that smoke has stayed well north of Colorado.
While Tuesday featured briefly improved conditions, Denver and Front Range air quality will probably dip again, starting on Wednesday. A plume of wildfire smoke from California and the Pacific Northwest will gradually filter into eastern Colorado starting on Wednesday.
Coupled with rising temperatures and light winds, and unfortunately both wildfire smoke and ground ozone levels will be on the higher side through the rest of the week and into the upcoming weekend.
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