The Cameron Peak Fire exploded this weekend, growing to almost 40,000 acres on Saturday and nearly 60,000 acres today. Ash has been falling at my house all day and the smoke plume has almost entirely blotted out the sun. At 1 p.m. it looked and felt like 45 minutes after sunset. I grabbed plots of solar irradiance, the density of solar energy reaching the ground, and temperature from the CSU weather station, a half-mile northeast of my house. The effect of the smoke is dramatic. It has absorbed or reflected most of our expected sunshine and we're stuck in the low 60's while other cities on the Front Range are still roasting in the 90's.
A winter storm is forecast to arrive early tomorrow morning, bringing rain and snow, and hopefully some relief for firefighters, mountain residents, and the rest of us downstream. It may get below freezing tonight and Tuesday night, so Ruth and I went out in the gloom to pick our basil and green tomatoes. I'll be making pesto and stashing in it our deep freezer for the rest of the afternoon.
Update (2020-09-07): InciWeb now reports 96,000 acres for the Cameron Peak Fire.