Whatcom County residents will get a chance to switch on the fans and air conditioning later this week, but the heat isn’t expected to hang around long.
Temperatures are predicted to rise into the high 80s and may get above 90 degrees in parts of Whatcom County on Thursday, Aug. 18, and into Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to slowly drop in the following days but remain sunny and dry, said meteorologist Johnny Burg.
The area got a taste of summerlike weather this past weekend when high temperatures reached 84 degrees in some parts of the county.
The reason for the higher temperatures in what has been a cool Whatcom County summer is that a high pressure system is developing over British Columbia and the compressing air from the mountains will gradually heat up.
A fire weather watch was issued Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 16, in Western Washington for Thursday through Friday evening.
The National Weather Service report indicated the combination of dry air and light winds will increase the fire danger.
“The breezes will combine with low relative humidity and hot temperatures to produce red flag conditions,” according to the report.
It’s been a relatively mild summer in Bellingham, with National Weather Service data indicating the highest recorded temperature so far this summer was 85 degrees on June 5. For August, the high temperatures have mostly been in the 70s.
With this expected spike in temperatures, Burg wants to remind people about heat safety. Along with the fire danger, it’s important to not leave children and pets in cars and be careful when it comes to swimming areas.
In the longer range forecast, Burg said it’s expected to be warmer and dry through the end of August.