The heat wave that has shattered records and exacerbated wildfires across the western United States will continue into midweek, but relief is on the way for parts of the region.
The latest burst of heat brought the hottest conditions ever recorded in downtown San Francisco as the mercury soared to 106 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, Sept. 1. The previous record of 103 was set on June 14, 2000.
Dozens more all-time and daily record highs were set from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, and Missoula, Montana, over the weekend.
The hot, dry conditions fanned the La Tuna Fire north of Los Angeles, which has charred over 7,000 acres and burned three homes since Friday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. This is the city’s largest wildfire in terms of acreage, Reuters reported.
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency declaration for Los Angeles County on Sunday due to the severity of the blaze.
The intense heat is over along the California coast, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, with more seasonable air taking control for the remainder of the week. One-hundred-degree Fahrenheit readings will dwindle over California’s Central Valley.
It will take longer for areas farther inland to finally catch a break.
Seattle and Portland, Oregon, will have to deal with record-challenging temperatures in the 90s and 100s, respectively, through Tuesday. Temperatures will remain near 90 in both cities on Wednesday.
The near-record heat will persist through Thursday in Boise, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana.
A state of emergency remains in effect across all counties in Washington due to extensive wildfires and heat. Many of the large blazes burning out West are clustered over Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Unhealthy air quality levels will persist across a large portion of the West as wildfire smoke clouds the sky. Those with respiratory issues should limit time outdoors if at all possible. Heat-related illnesses are possible at any age or health level if proper care is not taken to hydrate and take frequent breaks in the shade.
Heat will finally back off across the Northwest late this week, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
A system is expected to sweep in from the Pacific Ocean, triggering increased clouds and showers along the Northwest coast on Thursday and Friday. Thunderstorms could also be enhanced farther inland towards the northern Rockies.
While this will not be a significant rain event for a place like Seattle or Portland, residents and visitors will need to be sure to have a rain jacket or umbrella handy after weeks of not needing either items.
Roadways could be slick at the onset of rain, including a portion of Interstate 5.
It may take until the second week of September for the above-normal warmth to finally throttle back across the remainder of the West.