Fox News Weather Center

Dangerous heat to scorch western US during 1st week of August


As the calendar flips from July to August, folks across the western United States will begin to face a resurgence of heat that will last through at least the first week of the month.

"Excessive heat is coming to a large area in the West next week from California and Nevada and into the interior Northwest," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ken Clark said.

A ridge in the upper-level winds is expected to build across the western U.S. and Canada next week which will allow warm air to build below it. An increased risk for heat-related dangers and wildfire ignition will accompany the warmth.

The majority of the western U.S. and Canada will experience above-average temperatures but the greatest temperature anomalies will likely be focused across northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, British Columbia and Alberta.

heat west next week wildfire danger


"The likelihood of dangerous heat will increase across this area next week with temperatures Monday through Wednesday averaging 10 to 15 degrees above normal," Clark said.

Folks who plan on spending extended periods of time outside, especially during the afternoon will raise their risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

It is important for people to realize the dangers of this heat. The risk for heat-related illnesses can be lowered by drinking plenty of water, wearing light colored clothing, and limiting any vigorous activities to the morning or evening.

In some locations, afternoon temperatures will approach record territory during the middle of the week. Portland, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho, are two cities that will challenge records on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, many locations will fall a few degrees short of records.

Those looking to beat the heat may want to consider heading to coastal beaches where the heat will be greatly moderated. However, some coastal waters could be dangerous to enter early next week.

Monsoonal moisture will mostly be confined to the Four Corners states next week which will lead to daily showers and thunderstorms and more extensive cloud cover. This will keep temperatures near normal or even slightly below normal in this region. Any heavy thunderstorm could lead to downpours and flash flooding.

Elsewhere across the West, isolated thunderstorms will pop up across the Rockies but activity will not be widespread. This will not provide much, if any, rain relief for wildfire efforts across the West.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, there are currently 48 active large wildfire incidents from Northern California to Montana. Wildfires are also burning across British Columbia.

British Columbia wildfires

Widespread smoke from numerous wildfires across British Columbia on July 18 can be seen on this high-resolution snapshot from a passing satellite. Wildfires continue to burn across this area and across the western U.S. Photo/NASA - Terra satellite


The increase in heat and lack of rain will only worsen the wildfire threat through next week.

"Thunderstorms outside of the Four Corners region will hold the greatest risk of lightning-induced wildfires as little to no rain will reach the ground," AccuWeather Renee Duff warned.

This warm pattern will continue through the week but the ridge may begin to break down next weekend which would allow some relief from the heat.