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Temperatures to cool, air quality to improve later this week

After a run of hot temperatures, cool weather and thunderstorms are expected to reach Spokane and Coeur d’Alene by Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

While the weather outlook is improving, however, smoke from wildfires and high temperatures have combined to worsen air quality throughout Central and Eastern Washington.

Fine particles in smoke can cause respiratory problems. Persons with asthma and respiratory illnesses are particularly at risk, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

“Right now, there isn’t much air movement to clean out the smoke and other pollution. It looks like that’s going to continue for a few days, with some improved circulation starting Thursday,” Clint Bowman, a meteorologist with Ecology’s Air Quality Program, said in a news release.

State officials have warned those at risk, including children and the elderly, to spend less time outdoors. State officials asked residents to observe the burn bans and other measures to reduce pollution.

As for the weather, the forecast for Tuesday is a high in Spokane of 96 and 93 in Coeur d’Alene. The temperature will gradually decrease Wednesday while a new system pushes in cooler temperatures.

The high for Thursday is currently forecast at 81 for Spokane and 79 in Coeur d’Alene, which is just a few degrees below normal for this time, said meteorologist Robin Fox.

“Whenever we get the ridge of high pressure breaking down, we either get wind or thunderstorms. Right now we are calling for both,” she said.

The chance for thunderstorms is 40 percent in both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Thursday with lows in the mid 50s.

Friday should even be cooler with a high in Spokane of 74 and 71 in the Lake City. The chance of rain persists throughout the weekend with temperatures inching back up to the low 80s for Saturday and Sunday.

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