Weather Eye: Two days of 100-plus degrees, then down into the 80s but sticky
Thursday, August 16, 2012
It is not often that we see an excessive heat warning out for the ocean beaches, but it is today until 9 p.m. A very warm air mass aloft and east winds will shoot highs north of Newport, Ore., into the 90s, most likely before cooling somewhat on Friday. Inland, we expect 100 to 105 degrees around our local area.
As if you could tell the difference between 100 and 105 degrees. So two days of excessive heat, and then late Friday through Saturday we get moisture and clouds moving up from the south. Although the temperature drops back down into the upper 80s, the dew points rise sharply, causing very humid and sticky conditions. So your breathing capability does not improve until Sunday when our natural air conditioner pushes marine air in from the beaches. Oh yes, I can hardly wait!
Meanwhile, the mini heat wave has caused authorities to issue several warnings, and one of them is a red flag warning. This means fire conditions will be explosive, and if any fires break out it, will be difficult to control them.
The wildfire near Cle Elum and Ellensburg this week grew rapidly -- nearly 1,000 acres an hour at one point. It is always sad seeing such destructive forces and loss of property, and possible human and animal casualties.
Bottom line here, folks: Be careful with fires, even backyard barbecues and fire pits. You might want to wait a few days on nighttime campfires, even in the city. Besides that, it is going to be warm at night; I would expect many locations to hover near 70 degrees most of overnight into Friday.
Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.