A large portion of the western United States will continue to endure high heat, an elevated wildfire danger and poor air quality into the first week of September.
The magnitude and duration of the heat will be unusual for this time of year, given that average temperatures start to quickly trend downward heading into September.
Temperatures will range between 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above average across a majority of the West.
Some days through the weekend could get hot enough to challenge record highs, including in downtown Los Angeles.
“California and the Desert Southwest will be very hot into the weekend, with California’s Central Valley staying in the triple digits,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.
Daytime temperatures in the 100s and 110s will be common from Phoenix to Las Vegas and Palm Springs, California. Downtown Los Angeles will spend the rest of the week baking in near triple-digit heat.
“To put this in perspective, late-August normals are 105 in Palm Springs, 85 in downtown Los Angeles, 100 in Las Vegas and 104 in Phoenix,” Boston said.
Those who may not be expecting such high temperatures heading into September should wear light-colored clothing outdoors and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not leave pets or children in locked vehicles, even if the windows are cracked.
As temperatures remain steadily above normal over the interior Northwest and Southwest, coastal Washington and Oregon will be subject to a wave of cooler air significantly trimming the heat at midweek.
The upper 80s that were felt in Seattle early this week will be trimmed back into the 70s on Wednesday and Thursday. Portland, Oregon, will go from a high temperature that flirted with 100 on Monday, to a high near 80 during the last two days of the month.
Temperatures will get knocked back slightly, but still remain quite warm across Northern California, Nevada and Utah, eastern Oregon and Washington, Idaho and Montana.
“Another significant wave of heat will develop for California, the Great Basin and Pacific Northwest during Labor Day weekend into the first week of September,” Boston said.
Temperatures in Seattle and Portland are likely to soar back to near 90 and 100, respectively.
The spotty thunderstorms that will blossom over the Intermountain West through this week will likely diminish for the holiday weekend, which is good news for those with plans to fire up the barbecue or cook out.
However, the continued dry, hot weather will feed ongoing wildfires and threaten to trigger new ones. A smoky haze will shroud the sky wherever a fire is burning or downwind of a blaze.