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100 Degrees in June? It’s Too Darn Hot, Boise, And Too Darn Early

Thermometer in record heat
Pixabay / Creative Commons

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service Office say it’s a pretty sure bet that the high temperature in Boise on Thursday, June 3 — expected to be in triple digits — will easily surpass the previous record of 97 degrees. But what they’re really concerned about is how early the heat has settled into southwestern Idaho.

“What's different about this one is it's so early in the season, said senior meteorologist Bill Wojcik. "So, this is more of a heads up. This is going to be like the middle of summer, but it's early June — so just do what you would normally do in the middle of the summer.”

Wojcik visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about the outlook —both immediate and long term — and what exact elements come together to issue an Excessive Heat Warning.

“We started a few days ago. We started with an excessive heat watch. And that followed up with the warning.”
Bill Wojcik

Read the full transcript below:

GEORGE PRENTICE: It is Morning Edition on Boise State Public Radio News. Good morning. I'm George Prentice. We're going to pay an extra amount of attention to the weather today as there is an Excessive Heat Warning for the Treasure Valley. And that's why we've got Senior Meteorologist Bill Wojcik on the line from the National Weather Service office in Boise. Bill, good morning.

BILL WOJCIK: Good morning, George.

PRENTICE: Up front, can you talk to us a bit about the elements… the conditions that would lead your office to issue such a warning? What does it take?

Meteorologist at National Weather Service Office in Boise
Boise State Public Radio
George Prentice
The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the Treasure Valley for June 3, 2021.

WOJCIK: Some extremely warm temperatures compared to normal… and that’s been building slowly over the last few days. We had a strong, high pressure ridge off the coast a few days ago that's slowly moving inland into the Pacific Northwest. And each day over the last few days, the temperature, if you noticed, has been climbing more and more. Today, we are looking for a high of around 100 degrees, which would be a record for the day.

PRENTICE: And a warning is truly an issue of public health. It's for people to be extra concerned about exposure. .

WOJCIK: So, extreme heat significantly increases the potential for heat related illnesses.

PRENTICE: The elderly… the young. We've got to keep a close watch on the little ones. And then there are those people who can't avoid working outside.

WOJCIK: That's right. Take frequent breaks. If you have to be out in the heat, try to find an air conditioned room if you can while you're taking a break. And what's unusual about this event is we get 100 degree heat in the middle of the summer. But what's different about this one is it's so early in the season. So, this is more of a heads up. This is going to be like the middle of summer, but it's early June. So just do what you would normally do in the middle of the summer

PRENTICE: When some of us think about excessive heat, especially midsummer, we think about disturbances and maybe lightning at higher elevations. Is there anything in this system that might show any of that?

WOJCIK: Yes. So actually, there is a weak disturbance coming through later on today. So, there could be a few thunderstorms around the higher elevations. It doesn't look like the valley will see anything. But some of our forecast models do show some isolated thunderstorms developing in Oregon and those could push an outflow through the valley later on this evening. And what that typically does, is it picks up a lot of wind, maybe some dust. Ontario that could see a thunderstorm. But right now, for the most part, it doesn't look like we'll see any precipitation at least. But yes, lightning is potentially there for late this evening in the higher elevations.

PRENTICE: When might we see a break in any of this in the next…well, I don't know…. The next few days?

WOJCIK: That strong, high pressure ridge that I mentioned coming through and contributing to the heat will be pushing off to the east starting tomorrow. So, we start to cool down tomorrow, Friday, a little bit, but still pretty warm. In fact, the morning lows will be really mild. One of the things we don't really talk about much is record low, warm, low temperatures, meaning the warmest temperature overnight for morning lows. So those also would be unusually warm for tomorrow morning. And then also during the day Friday, we're looking for highs in the middle 90s, not quite as hot as it's going to be today, but still pretty hot, not excessively so. So actually, the warning is in effect today, but still we’ve got to take some caution tomorrow being that it's going to still be pretty warm. And then when we get into the weekend, the flow turns more westerly, which will bring a little bit of cooler air. We'll get some breezy winds in here Saturday and Sunday. The temperatures will continue to come down a little bit. So, Sunday, we're looking for highs around 80, which is closer to normal. So, this hot spell won't last. We will be trending a little bit cooler as we get into the early part of next week.

PRENTICE: What do you see out in the Pacific that might impact any of our conditions later this month?

WOJCIK: Unfortunately, the latest 30 day outlook which came out at the end of May, it doesn't bode well for the month of June. We are already getting into the dry season. Typically, June is one of our drier months, July and August being the driest. So, the Climate Prediction Center outlook does show that better than normal chances of above normal temperatures for the month and below normal precipitation.

PRENTICE: You know, and I know that there's a lot of people who say they like the heat… until there's just too much of it. Wow. This is really early.

WOJCIK: It is early, yes, today's forecast high of 100 beats the record was of 98 degrees, set in 2007.

PRENTICE: It's a pretty sure bet that we will probably break the record.

WOJCIK: We feel confident for getting this temperature for the last few days. And that's why we started a few days ago. We started with an excessive heat watch. And that followed up with the warning.

PRENTICE: Every day is critical in your business, but today, indeed, there is a certain urgency for us. So, for all that you do every day - and we're keeping a close watch today in particular - thank you. He is Senior Meteorologist Bill Wojcik. Bill, best of luck today. While I look forward to more conversations, I say that with some trepidation about the possibility of a very long, very hot summer.

WOJCIK:. The two things we're watching, obviously, are the drought conditions deteriorating and the fire weather season coming up. It concerns for us right now for this summer.

PRENTICE: Bill, thanks so very much.

WOJCIK: All right. Thank you, George.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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