Summer has had most days above 90 since 2009
Two big rounds of hot weather in July and August are making this the warmest summer in three years.
A hot summer seemed unlikely during June, when nearly 3 inches of rain fell in Spokane and more in communities to the north.
But the typical summer in the Inland Northwest really doesn’t get going until early July, forecasters said.
Now, the National Weather Service is calling for a high of 90 this afternoon in Spokane. The normal high for today is 83.
The sweltering weather follows a weeklong heat wave that started July 7 and peaked at 98 degrees on July 8.
The current heat wave started on Aug. 5 but was broken by three days in the 80s.
Forecasters are calling for 94 on Friday and 98 or 99 on Saturday in Spokane. If the forecast holds, Saturday would be the warmest day in Spokane since the 101-degree reading on Aug. 1, 2009.
Coeur d’Alene is expected to go from 88 today to 92 on Friday and 97 on Saturday. Sunday could get to 94 in Coeur d’Alene and 97 in Spokane.
Forecasters said relief should arrive Monday.
“It looks like next week will cool down somewhat, but it will probably stay above average,” meteorologist Matt Fugazzi said. “We are going from way above average to a bit above average.”
Highs next week still should be in the 80s.
Seasonably warm weather is foreseen through the much of the remainder of August, Fugazzi said.
“We don’t see any major heat waves after the next few days,” he said.
But he said it’s too early to forecast what will happen next month.
A good way to measure summer heat is by adding up the number of days with highs of 90 degrees or hotter. The average summer has 19 such days. Spokane now has seen 17 days with a high of 90 or more, with four more hot days forecast through Sunday.
Both 2010 and 2011 fell below average with nine and 16 days of 90-plus-degree heat, respectively.
September was arguably the hottest month of the year last year, with seven days of heat in the 90s.
The last truly hot summer was in 2009, with 27 days of heat at 90 or above.
Forecasters said a surge of Pacific moisture and lower air pressure could trigger thunderstorms starting Sunday, especially over the Cascades. Locally, the risk of thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday is 20 percent.