September appears to have picked up right where August left off, with many regions across the Pacific Northwest reporting record or near record heat to start the month.


“We kicked off September on the 1st with a September record tying high of 112 degrees in Lancaster, CA," noted USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey.  "That was followed the next day by a September record tying temperature of 104 in Pendleton, OR.  And then on the 3rd, we set an all-time September record in Pocatello, ID, of 102 degrees.”


Rippey said there were a host of other extremely high numbers over the first week of September.  He added temperatures are expected to drop in the coming days, but unfortunately those cooler highs have been ushered in with windy conditions.  And those elevated wind speeds, Rippey pointed out, are expected to linger creating an increase in fire hazards in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.


“We’ve got more than five-dozen active wildfires burning across the western United States.  The vast majority of those stretching from northern California, through the Northwest, eastward into the northern Rockies.  Any of those fires could exhibit erratic behavior as the cold front approaches with those high winds.  And any new fires could burn really quickly and also erratically.  So a huge wildfire concern.” 


While the next couple of days will be challenging, Rippey is optimistic that cooler temperatures and increased humidity will roll into the PNW next week and later on in the month.


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