The Inland Northwest is going to sizzle with 90-degree heat for one more day before a cooling trend sends temperatures down to normal – even below normal – for the middle of July.
But as the change arrives, the region could see windy and dry conditions that will heighten wild fire danger through 11 p.m. today.
A weak cold front is expected to move across the region, creating an air pressure gradient that will kick up gusts to 25 mph today.
The front will also dry out the atmosphere. The relative humidity could fall to as low as 8 percent in the Spokane region.
Wild fires across the broader region, including British Columbia, will leave skies on the hazy side. Locations near the east slopes of the Cascades could have smoke problems, according to National Weather Service forecasters.
Highs today will run from the middle 90s in the core of the Spokane urban area to 90 degrees at Lake Coeur d’Alene. Spokane will see steady southerly winds of 9 to 15 mph with gusts to 21 mph.
Then, temperatures start falling by several degrees each day through Sunday so that most areas will see highs in the 70s by Sunday.
Lows should be in the 60s in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas.
As the weekend arrives, the combination of warmer air from the south beneath a cooling atmosphere aloft will bring a slight chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and a slight chance of showers on Sunday in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.
The chance of showers will be greater – from 30 to 40 percent – in and near the mountains of Northeast Washington and far North Idaho.
At higher elevations, high temperatures should drop from the 70s to lower 60s with lows in the lower 50s at night.
Spokane’s normal high for mid-July is 84 degrees.