An extended heat wave across the Pacific Northwest last week pushed the mercury high and broke records in several areas, including in Riggins.
Last Tuesday, June 29, Riggins recorded 106 degrees, which was a record, according to meteorologist Brian Conlan, National Weather Service Missoula office. That day’s temperature beat 104, which was set in 1976. The following day, June 30, Riggins recorded a 106-degree temperature, tying the record set in 2008.
For stations across the region, only Riggins has historical data kept to track such milestones, according to Conlan.
“For North Central Idaho, it [the heat wave] basically started on Sunday [June 27],” Conlan said, with the hottest days being Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29-30.
“Virtually, all these areas had the same trend on the first [of July],” he said. “It cooled, and cooled off more as the days went by.”
On the Camas Prairie, Cottonwood reported 104 degrees, 1 p.m., on June 28, which Conlan clarified it may have been hotter that day; however, there are five to six hours of missing data, possibly due to a transmission problem, which also affected recording the following day. On June 29, Cottonwood reported 112 degrees at 1:15 p.m.
Conlan added this is an Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) recording station, which provides close estimates on temperature, but not one that NWS uses for its climatology.
Cottonwood on June 30 reported 111 degrees at 4:15 p.m., after which on July 1, he said, it “cooled off nicely to 103, and temperatures continued to cool after that.”
For Grangeville, the station at the Idaho County Airport reported 99 degrees, 4:35 p.m., on June 28; at 100 degrees between 3-5 p.m. on June 29; to 99 degrees from 1-3 p.m. on June 30; and down to 95 at 4 p.m. on July 1.
Prior to its record-setting and tying, Riggins reported 97 degrees on June 27, and 101 degrees on June 28.
Kamiah saw a scorcher for three days. June 28, the temp hit 111 degrees at 4:30 p.m.; on June 29, it reached 113 degrees between 3-3:30 p.m.; and on June 30, around 4 p.m., it reached 112 degrees.
At Elk City, an ITD station reported 100 degrees on June 28 (4:30 p.m.) and June 29 (3:30 p.m.), and 98 degrees for an hour (3:30-4:30 p.m.) on June 30.
As far as the forecast, Conlan said temperatures were to remain the same until today (Wednesday, July 7), at which point a cold front is expected to come through the region. However, temperatures will stay above normal — between four to six degrees — for this time of year. Expect it to warm up again for the weekend, as the high ridge pressure that caused last week’s heat wave will move over the southwest and start growing again in strength.