SPOKANE, Wash. – Poor air quality continues through Friday as wildfires in Canada, Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana continue to burn.

There is not enough rain in the forecast to dampen any wildfires raging in these areas where most of the wildfire smoke is coming from. High pressure is in place Friday as temperatures top out in the 90s and 100s across the region.

LoLo National Forest in Montana

Spokane broke a record Friday for 15 days in a row of 90 degree temperatures. In 1894, Spokane hit 14 days in a row. The Lilac City is also nearing a record for no-rain days. Right now, we have gone 44 days without any showers. To make it to the top 10 driest summers, we would need to hit 54 days (only 10 days away). The record for dry days in Spokane is 73 which was set 100 years ago.

Today will break a heat record. 15 days in a row above 90°. pic.twitter.com/y1QONl5BIC

— Briana Bermensolo (@KREMBriana) August 11, 2017

Saturday is the day when things start to change. Fire weather will be very critical over the weekend for several reasons.

  1. An approaching trough may trigger showers and thunderstorms. Showers will develop over the Cascades during the morning hours and spread east during the afternoon hours. Unfortunately, we are not expecting a lot of much needed rain in Eastern Washington or Idaho. We can expect enough moisture to dampen the ground, but not enough to put out existing fires.
  2. Fire weather watch goes into effect for the first day of the weekend. Dry lightning is a big concern. Any cloud-to-ground lightning without rain could spark new wildfires quickly.
  3. Gusty winds will pick up Saturday night. This raises concern for possible wildfires.

The weather will be much cooler Sunday as we are expecting temperatures to drop to the mid-80s and stay that way through the beginning of the week.