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Fox News Weather Center

Record-challenging heat to scorch western US, increase wildfire threat into next week

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Dangerous heat will build across the western United States into early next week, with many locations challenging record temperatures on multiple days.

"The jet stream will shift well north into Canada through the weekend, opening the door for a major heat wave to take place across the West," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

Some cities will not only challenge record highs but shatter them.

The warm surge will hold off until Friday for much of the Pacific Northwest, peaking this weekend.

"The heat will peak this weekend across the Pacific Northwest with highs rising into the upper 80s and 90s F in most locations," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

"Most locations along the Interstate 5 corridor in Oregon may flirt with the 100-degree mark at least one day this weekend," Pydynowski added.

Should Portland, Oregon, reach 100 F, it would be the second earliest 100-degree day on record. The earliest 100-degree day was on May 28, 1983.

Marine water influences will keep temperatures down in Seattle, but highs will still peak into the upper 80s.

Some locations across the Southwest, including Fresno, California, and Las Vegas, have already reached highs in the triple digits for the first time this year on Wednesday. Several more straight days of triple-digit heat are expected.

"Highs of 110 or above are expected across the Desert Southwest during the peak of the heat this weekend," Adamson said.

Cities likely to approach or exceed 110 F for at least one day this weekend include Las Vegas; Palm Springs, California; and Phoenix and Yuma, Arizona.

Any strenuous activities should be held to a minimum or avoided. Anyone needing to go outdoors should drink plenty of water, wear light-colored clothing and take frequent breaks.

Those hoping to beat the heat will want to head to the beaches along the West coast from Neah Bay, Washington, to San Diego, California, as the cool ocean waters will keep daytime highs in the upper 60s to lower 80s.

The brunt of the heat will focus west of the Rockies through the weekend before slowly pressing eastward into the Intermountain West early next week. The heat will peak in Billings, Montana, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, early next week.

A slow cooldown is likely in store along the West coast next week.

"By Monday, the heat will begin to relax slightly along the West coast, but highs are still likely to run 15 to 20 degrees above average across the Northwest and 5 to 10 degrees above average in the Southwest," Adamson said.

With the heat in place, a few spotty dry thunderstorms are possible across the higher elevations, especially across the Sierra Nevada and Rockies. Should any lightning bolts strike the dry ground, there is the potential for a wildfire to ignite.

With hot and dry conditions expected to continue across the West this summer, the wildfire threat will only worsen.