The entire region remains blanketed under high temperatures and an air quality alert from the National Weather Service, but some relief may be in store from both the heat and smoke perhaps as early as Sunday from a front carrying showers and thunderstorms through the area.
The air quality alert is in effect through noon on Saturday. Smoke from wildfires in Eastern Washington, Montana and British Columbia is expected to affect central and Eastern Washington and North Idaho as north or northeast winds push smoke around Washington state this week. Air quality will vary between good and unhealthy depending on wind direction and time of day.
Widespread haze and smoke persists on Thursday, with the forecast sunny and hot with a high temperature of 96 in Spokane and a degree or two cooler for Coeur d’Alene. Thursday night will cool off to the mid 60s in the region, with winds becoming light and variable out of the south.
Once again on Friday, temperatures in town will reach the mid-to-upper 90s under sunny, but hazy and smoky, skies. In the evening temperatures dip into the mid 60s.
The forecast calls for reaching a record 15 consecutive days at 90 or hotter on Friday. The record dates back to 1894.
Saturday’s conditions will be more of the same, with the high around 94 and low near 65.
Sunday brings a potential break, with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11 a.m. Highs on Sunday should only reach the mid-to-upper 80s. Sunday night carries a slight chance of precipitation and temperatures in the lower 60s, while North Idaho will see temps drop into the 50s.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms will persist into the beginning of next week, with temperatures on Monday expected in the low-to-mid 80s and lows in the mid-to-upper 50s. Chance of rain on Monday is 20 percent.