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Hot, Hot Weather Almost Everywhere This Weekend, Bad News For Wildfires

Tim Durkan

Make sure you’ve refilled the ice trays. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s going to get hot in the days ahead.

Breaking 90 In The City

The Washington coast will see temperatures in the upper 70s. But near Puget Sound, the thermometer could cross the 90-degree mark.

“It should continue as we get into Tuesday or Thursday of next week,” Mass said.

There’s also a chance of thundershowers over the mountains this weekend, Mass said, "and that's pretty serious."

“Because if we do get thunderstorms and there’s lightning, there’s potential for many new fires," he said.

Triple Digits Over The Wildfires

The weather won’t provide much help for wildfires burning in central and eastern Washington.

Temperatures in some parts of the Columbia Basin could reach as high as 108 degrees, Mass said. Dry conditions on the ground will continue, and relative humidity could drop to 5 or 10 percent. While all that’s happening, strong winds are developing over the Cascades.

“Those are very dangerous factors,” Mass said. “It’s a pretty serious situation.”

Hot, Sticky Air

What humidity there is appears to be hanging out in western Washington. If you’re feeling like it’s muggier than usual, the data agree with you.

Mass found that a lot of the air coming into the Puget Sound region recently was coming from southern British Columbia. If we’re going to get higher humidity, that’s usually where it will come from, he said.

“When it’s coming off the ocean it tends to be drier, strangely enough,” Mass said. “Only when the air is coming — generally from the north — over vegetated surfaces, that’s when we have the higher humidities.”

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.

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