PHOTOS: Dense smoke and haze turns air quality index red

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NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – If you’re waking up this morning to a scratchy throat or itchy nose, you’re probably in good company. The smoke and haze are so dense this morning, it is affecting our air quality.

Forecast Continues Below

It’s now in the red level or unhealthy-for-everyone range. The smoke will eventually mix out later this evening and slowly drift northeast. So we’re seeing the worst of it now and conditions will slowly improve over the next 24 hours. Otherwise, the dry air also made a significant difference in our weather story. Because of it, temperatures are rather cool across the Gila and Jemez.

But in a matter of a few hours, some cities will flip 40+ degrees as our mini-heatwave continues through Tuesday. Highs will range from 95-100 degrees over the next three days for much of the state. We’ll slowly add more moisture in the forecast each day from south to north. This will mean part two of our monsoon season. For Albuquerque northward, better storm chances don’t return until Thursday afternoon into next weekend.

Bernalillo County officials have issued a health alert because of wildfire smoke moving into the area from California. The alert started at noon on Saturday and runs through noon on Monday. People with respiratory conditions should limit outdoor activity.

The San Juan Basin Public Health Board is also issuing air quality alerts in both Archuleta and La Plata Counties in southwest Colorado.

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