Significant relief from the hot and smoky conditions plaguing the northwestern United States will arrive this weekend and continue into early next week.
Daytime temperatures will drop 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit from their peak this week to their lowest point this weekend.
Non-air conditioned dwellings will become more comfortable for living and sleeping. Individuals that have been forced to limit time outside due to poor air quality may be able to resume outdoor activities.
Following unseasonably hot and hazy conditions through Friday, the heat wave will start to break down at the beginning of the weekend.
Prior to the cooldown, Spokane International Airport is expected to break its record of 14 consecutive days in the 90s, which was originally set in 1894. As of early Thursday morning, Aug. 10, the airport recorded 13 consecutive days at or above 90.
The coolest air in over a month will pour over Washington and Oregon on Sunday.
"A strong push of cooler, more seasonable air is projected to arrive from the Pacific Ocean this weekend, which will begin to sweep away the stagnant air," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.
Temperatures will drop 5 to 10 degrees below normal in the wake of the cool push.
On Sunday, the high temperature in Seattle may not reach 70 for the first time since June 28. Portland, Oregon, will struggle to get out of the lower 70s after spending multiple days in the upper 90s and 100s earlier in the month.
Even the typically hot spots over the interior, such as Pendleton, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington, will get a break from the excessive heat late in the weekend.
The cooler air will continue to press inland early next week, reaching Boise, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana, on Monday and Tuesday.
Smoke and haze will start to disperse after clouding the Pacific Northwest sky for over a week. Winds blowing in off the ocean will help to whisk the smoke away.
The conclusion of the heat wave will not mean an end to the wildfire danger.
The winds that will help to disperse the smoke and haze will also threaten to fan ongoing wildfires this weekend, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.
Fire crews could face erratic wildfire behavior and containment lines could be breached. Residents and visitors should avoid outdoor burning to prevent the ignition of new blazes.
Some rain will fall across western Washington and northwestern Oregon along the leading edge of cooler air. Any rainfall will tend to fizzle as it spreads farther inland toward the northern Rockies, where the threat for dry thunderstorms and lightning-induced wildfires will continue to remain high.