Although temperatures will drop this week from the record highs of recent days, they will remain in the danger zone in some places, with parts of California, Utah and Nevada reaching from 100 to 114 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.
And the fire risk will continue along with the heat, said Julie Malingowski, an emergency response meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “With the drought, and continued dry and hot conditions, fire growth is certainly favorable across the region.”
Still, Monday is the last day this week that experts expect to see heat records broken across the desert Southwest, Ms. Malingowski said. “Drought-relieving rain” that is predicted to fall between Tuesday and Saturday will provide some break from the heat.
Central and southeast Arizona could receive as much as three and a half inches this week, and New Mexico and Texas will also experience “monsoon moisture” that could bring flash floods.
In Utah, above-average high temperatures were expected to continue in the Salt Lake City area, said Sam Webber, a meteorologist for the Weather Service there. And the hot, dry and windy conditions in the state could spark more wildfires by the weekend.
“While we’re not making any headlines yet, it’s definitely on our radar,” Mr. Webber said.
Oregon and California, where some of the largest wildfires are burning right now, are predicted to get a break from lightning strikes, which could cut down on the number of new blazes, said Jay Stockton, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Medford, Ore. But there is little chance of significant rain to aid firefighters, despite the slight dip in temperatures.
“It’s going to be normal hot, as opposed to excessively hot,” Mr. Stockton said.
Looking ahead, Ms. Malingowski said heat waves were expected to persist for the rest of the summer. “July and August is typically our warmest time,” she said.
Waiting For A Big SCOOP