Less than two weeks before summer officially begins, Clark County could experience record high temperatures in the next few days.
Temperatures could land above 90 degrees Tuesday and around 95 degrees Wednesday, said William Ahue, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The local record for Tuesday is 99 degrees, while the high-water mark for Wednesday is 94 degrees.
Highs near 80 degrees Sunday were caused by a patch of high pressure hovering over the area combined with winds coming from the east, Ahue said. Conditions directly contrast cooler temperatures last week, caused by low pressure and westerly winds, which are cooler since they come from the Pacific Ocean.
The patch of high pressure will strengthen over the next couple of days, causing the increased heat, Ahue said. He noted that the typically significant evening cool down will be less obvious Tuesday night, when lows are expected to be around 65 degrees.
Effects of the heat will be felt most heavily in urban areas, Ahue said. “Generally, the more concrete and buildings you have in your area, the warmer it will feel.”
The heat will begin to taper off Thursday, according to the weather service.
While fire danger is not significantly more potent than normal, wildfires remain a possibility, Ahue said. “It’s definitely something we’re going to be monitoring. We’ll see how the area responds to the warmer weather today and tomorrow.”
The temperature of the Columbia River was recorded at 59 degrees Sunday and will likely rise near 62 degrees by Wednesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The difference between air and water warmth could still cause shock in some situations.
“Be mindful and stay safe,” Ahue said. “Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you should go jumping in to whatever lake you see.”