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Wednesday, August 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Record temps, dry lightning, strong winds: Weather service says fire, heat danger high this week

UPDATED: Tue., July 28, 2020

Alex Anastassiades launches his kayak as his brother Mike Anastassiades, waits on a paddleboard with their friends Alleana Gallagher, center, and her cousin Shannon Gallagher (not pictured) as the group hits the water to beat the heat by floating the Spokane River on Friday, May 29, near Nine Mile Falls.  (TYLER TJOMSLAND)
Alex Anastassiades launches his kayak as his brother Mike Anastassiades, waits on a paddleboard with their friends Alleana Gallagher, center, and her cousin Shannon Gallagher (not pictured) as the group hits the water to beat the heat by floating the Spokane River on Friday, May 29, near Nine Mile Falls. (TYLER TJOMSLAND)

The threat from hot weather increases this week as high temperatures, dry lightning, risk of fire and strong winds are expected to sweep through the Spokane area starting Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists expect temperatures will climb to 103 degrees in downtown Spokane on Thursday, a record for July 30. An excessive heat warning will be in effect in Spokane until late Friday.

“One-hundred degree heat is fairly rare around here,” said Steve Bodnar, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The hottest temperature Spokane has experienced was 108 Fahrenheit on two dates, once in 1928 and again in 1961, Bodnar said.

Residents should keep in mind that while temperatures peak in the afternoon, hot nights are a big risk, Bodnar said, especially for the elderly population.

To battle the heat, the National Weather Service reminds Spokane residents to drink more water than usual, dress for the weather with loose, light-colored clothing, avoid strenuous work outside during the day, stick to the shade and “drink even more water,” according to the NWS website.

People who don’t have access to air conditioning should try to spend some time in spaces where it is available, if possible, Bodnar said.

“You don’t want to be walking dogs on blacktop, and you especially don’t want to leave your kids in a car,” Bodnar said.

Amid high temperatures, isolated thunderstorms with little rain are possible and will become more of a threat Wednesday night through Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Signs indicate thunderstorms will hit Spokane Thursday, possibly in the evening, but there is “a lot of uncertainty” around the start times of these storms, Bodnar said.

“The main concern with these thunderstorms is going to be fire starts,” Bodnar said.

Late Friday, a cold front will bring relief from the heat through the weekend, along with some breeze. Temperatures will return to near normal for this time of year early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

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