September 21, 2009 in City

Hot weather expected to defy calendar

By The Spokesman-Review
Christopher Anderson photo

Abdur Rehman, left, and Jeren Babcok enjoy the sunshine of the last day of summer while studying on the Riverpoint Campus in Spokane on Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.
(Full-size photo)

The calendar may say that autumn starts today, but the temperature is going to be anything but fall-like.

Highs in the middle 80s are expected today to be followed by record highs or near-record highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s on Wednesday across the Inland Northwest.

Autumn begins at 2:18 p.m. today.

Unusually high air pressure is building across the western U.S., and is expected to remain in place over the Inland Northwest through this weekend when temperatures dip back into the 80s on Friday through Sunday.

“The ridge really dominates right through this weekend,” said forecaster Kerry Jones of the National Weather Service.

The forecast on Wednesday for Felts Field near Millwood is 91, which would tie the record set there in 2001.

Elsewhere, Bonners Ferry could see 88 degrees, which is 3 degrees above the current record and Sandpoint is forecast to reach 85, which is 2 degrees above the record.

Spokane International Airport is expected to reach 89, which would fall short of the official city record of 91 on Wednesday.

Highs today are expected to reach 84 in downtown Spokane, Liberty Lake and Coeur d’Alene; 83 in Post Falls and Spokane Valley; and 82 in Airway Heights.

Wednesday’s highs will be in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Light winds are expected both days. The record high is 93 on Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene.

Lows at night should return to garden-growing weather in the lower to middle 50s through Thursday night in Spokane.

A weak Pacific front is going to graze the region as it moves from west to northeast on Thursday, bringing a push of cooler Pacific air and breezy conditions. However, the change will be marginal, allowing highs to continue above normal in the upper 70s to lower 80s through Monday.

Cold weather early Monday brought the first freezing temperatures of the season in many locations, including 32 degrees in Sandpoint, 30 in Newport and 26 in Deer Park.

The coldest location was Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge south of Cheney, where the thermometer plunged to 24.

Milder overnight temperatures are expected along with the daytime heat.

The normal high for Spokane is 70 degrees with 44 for a low.

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