DENVER — The summer of smog continues, and it's now the longest uninterrupted streak of Air Quality Alerts in at least seven years.
Monday marked the 22nd straight day with an Air Quality Alert in Denver and for the Front Range, setting a new "record" of sorts.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), the previous longest consecutive streak with an Air Quality Alert was last August, when Denver had one in place for 18 straight days.
But, Air Quality Alert standards changed just a few years ago back in late 2015, meaning any streaks from before then can't be compared to current levels. In addition, CDPHE doesn't actively track consecutive day streaks.
So basically, this is the longest streak of Air Quality Alerts since late 2015, though perhaps longer.
While the length of the 'record' remains in some doubt, that doesn't mean this hasn't been an exceptionally smoggy summer. In fact, it's safe to say the opposite.
According to pollution-tracking website IQAir.com, Denver's experienced moderate air quality or worse for 15 of the last 17 days. A combination of persistent wildfire smoke and high heat is fueling the brown cloud, along with a stagnant weather pattern that allows few, if any, opportunities for the soot to clear.
Front Range air quality is unlikely to improve anytime soon. High heat and dry conditions will keep ozone levels high, likely through at least Wednesday.