June 20, 2011 in City, News

80-degree weather will usher in summer

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

Camrin Orosco, 10, speeds down a slide at the Liberty Aquatics Center by Liberty Park today, the first day for Spokane Parks’ pools and splash pads to be open.
(Full-size photo)

By the time summer begins Tuesday at 10:16 a.m., the temperature should be heating up to a respectable summer-like level.

National Weather Service forecasters are calling for highs Tuesday of 82 in downtown Spokane and 83 in Coeur d’Alene.

Temperatures will heat up a little more on Wednesday with highs rising to the mid-80s before another cooldown arrives Thursday and Friday.

This is the latest in the season for Spokane to reach 80 degrees over 130 years of record keeping.

The previous mark for the latest 80-degree day was June 13, 2002, when the high reached 85 at Spokane International Airport.

The average date for reaching 80 degrees or warmer is May 12, forecaster Greg Koch said.

Spokane’s warmest temperature so far his year was 79 on June 5.

The cool, wet conditions have resulted in a plunge in water consumption in Spokane, as property owners haven’t yet needed to water lawns and gardens.

The city has pumped 5.5 billion gallons of water from Jan. 1 until Monday. That compares with 6.6 billion gallons last year and 7.69 billion gallons in 2009, all for the same period, according to spokeswoman Ann Deasy.

The city has become more active in recent years in promoting reduced water use. “Hopefully, we’ve got some water conservation numbers in there, too,” Deasy said.

Also, May and June of 2010 were cool and wet.

Avista Utilities reported that May electrical and natural gas bills were higher than normal because of an extended heating season in the region.

A strong ridge of higher air pressure is bringing the summer-like weather today and Wednesday only.

Another cold front will cool temperatures by Thursday to the mid-70s and then the upper 60s on Friday.

Windy conditions are likely across the Columbia Basin and into Spokane on Thursday.

Sunny to mostly sunny skies are expected this week and through the weekend. Precipitation is not in the forecast. Temperatures will be in the lower 70s on Saturday and Sunday, which Hoopfest competitors will appreciate.

Highs may get back to the 80s by next Monday.

The high on Sunday was 69 at Spokane International Airport. The normal high in Spokane is 75 for today, with 50 for the normal low.

The summer solstice occurs today at 10:16 a.m.

The cool spring has slowed this year’s snow melt and reduced the threat of flooding that would have been worse if warm weather had persisted, forecasters said.

However, Lake Pend Oreille, the Pend Oreille River and the Okanogan River are all still above flood stage, although water levels have been subsiding since last week.

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