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Ah, heat — but not for long

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | May 28, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Today, North Idaho’s temperature is expected to reach a high of 80 degrees. If it does, it will be the first time in nearly nine months that it’s hit 80, and the start of a three-day heatwave.

But don’t get used to it.

“It’s going to be very short-lived,” said climatologist Cliff Harris on Wednesday. “Don’t get too rambunctious.”

Still, might as well enjoy it.

North Idaho is looking at mid- to high-80s today, Friday and Saturday, and maybe even into the 90s in some areas, before rains return.

“It’s all part of the pattern that we’re in, the pattern of extremes,” Harris said.

This is a weather system that moved up from California, where it’s hitting 100 degrees in Redding, Red Bluff and Chico.

“This will balloon up over us, and then move off to the east,” Harris said. “We’re at the top of the balloon.”

When it cools off, it should cool off fast, dropping 20 degrees or even more, to the 40s, in a few days. Then, more rain is in the forecast into next week.

“There could be a whole bunch of thunderstorms and rains,” he said.

While March and April were dry, it’s been a wet, cool May. It was in the upper 30s a few days ago, and normal rainfall for the month is 2.77 inches.

Harris has measured 3.56 inches so far, most of that coming since May 12.

“We needed the moisture, but, I mean, we’ve had a lot of rain,” he said.

The temperature has been, on average, 7.6 degrees below normal in May.

The last time it was 80 degrees in Coeur d’Alene was Sept. 15. Harris said mid-June through July will be as most expect, dry and hot.

The current heatwave, he added, “is just a precursor to that warmer weather down the road.”

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BILL BULEY/Press Two ducklings swim at the Riverstone pond on Wednesdays.

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BILL BULEY/Press Three duckligs swm at Riverstone pond on Saturday.