By Linda Weiford, WSU News
“There’s no other way to say it – it’s going to be downright hot,” said meteorologist Nic Loyd of Washington State University.
So hot, in fact, that a slew of cities could tie or break some record highs for early June, he said.
Sunday and Monday are expected to deliver temperatures breaking 100 degrees in parts of Washington state, including Yakima, Moses Lake and Walla Walla. But a searing 105 in the Tri-Cities area should top them all, he said.
“These kinds of temperatures don’t typically appear until July or August,” said Loyd, who monitors weather data for WSU’s AgWeatherNet, a network of 178 weather stations.
In Spokane and Pullman, where many backyard tomatoes aren’t even in the ground yet, the thermometer should hover in the low to mid 90s. Lewiston, Idaho, is projected to hit the high 90s on Monday.
The heat event is predicted to roll in on Saturday, peaking on Sunday and Monday in many parts of the Northwest. Though temperatures should drop a few notches beginning on Tuesday, highs in the low to high 80s will qualify as cool.
The origin of this heat spell is a big summery ridge of high pressure over the West Coast combined with air flow from the desert Southwest, said Loyd.
“While I’d like to be able to say it’s a total fluke to see such high temperatures in early June, we saw something similar a year ago,” said Loyd, referring to a short heat wave that settled over the region on June 7, bringing temperatures to 25 degrees above normal. By June 8, the mercury soared to 105 in the Tri-Cities.