Fierce summer heat has returned to the Spokane area with possible lightning storms Tuesday evening and gusty winds later this week .
The National Weather Service in Spokane has issued an excessive heat watch for Lewiston, Wenatchee, Moses Lake and Omak, as well as a heat advisory for Spokane, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene and the Palouse regions of Idaho and Washington from Monday until the end of Tuesday. Temperatures reached the upper 90s on Monday.
Temperatures are projected to reach about 101 in the Spokane area on Tuesday; however, clouds expected to appear on Tuesday afternoon have the possibility of lowering the temperatures.
The weather service encouraged the public to take protective measures such as staying hydrated and staying indoors because of the intense heat.
Robin Fox, a National Weather Service meteorologist, wouldn’t rule out the possibility of another heatwave following this two-day long heat splurge early this week.
“Because we are still in August, there is the potential that we could see warmer temperatures in the next several weeks,” Fox said.
Since weather data began to be collected in Spokane in the early 1880s, the city has averaged about one day a year when temperatures reach triple digits. That’s already happened four times this year. It happened six times in 2021, including the all-time high in Spokane of 109 degrees.
A pattern change in weather is expected later in the week, welcoming clouds and stormier weather. While there won’t be a dramatic cool down, temperatures are expected to fall to the low 90s to high 80s by Wednesday.
A threat of sporadic lightning paired with gusty winds and sparse rain on Tuesday evening leading into Wednesday will bring an elevated possibility of fire danger.
Jared Harmes, the fire marshal of Spokane County Fire District 4, believes that with dry conditions at hand, Eastern Washington residents should expect increased threat of fires, and should take extra preventative measures.
Harmes encourages residents to report any fire or smoke they see to their local fire department.
Spokane County Fire District 3 Chief Cody Rohrbach said a lot of fire agencies in Eastern Washington will bring on additional staffing in preparation for fire danger this week.
Alongside adjusting staffing, Fire District 3 has been making an effort to spread awareness among Spokane residents.
“We put information out on social media, and then of course, if there’s a red flag warning, or any of those things that come into play by the weather service, those get picked up as well,” Rohrbach said. “We really try to hit all of the platforms to increase awareness.”
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