Turn up the heat - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Turn up the heat

Area celebrates, braces for drastic weather change ahead

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Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 12:00 am

The heat is on.

The rain is off.

Ma Nature has thrown another drastic change at us.

"I'm lovin' it," Coeur d'Alene's Derek Johnson said of the warmer temperatures as he strolled through Coeur d'Alene City Park on Thursday. "It's been a long time coming. I hope it lasts."

It will, said climatologist Cliff Harris.

Today is expected to reach 87 and temperatures will climb to 97 by Wednesday - a dramatic turnaround from the highs in the 60s earlier this week.

"No showers in sight," Harris said.

The forecast for the Fourth of July is a high in the low 90s.

"And a boatload of sunshine," Harris said.

Many residents, but not all, are pumped up for the heat wave.

"Cool weather is more manageable," said Post Falls' Sierra Black as she watched her kids play in the park. "When it gets too hot, I tend to retreat and shut down. I'm letting the kids run around before the hot weather socks us."

Harris said the hottest day so far this year in Coeur d'Alene was 87 on May 11. He believes summer is here for good and expects 25 days to be above 90 between now and mid-September.

"It looks like a long, dry summer ahead," he said. "It will be one of the hottest Fourths we've had in a long time."

Harris said the recent heavy rainfall was needed to ease wildfire danger and said residents will have to be vigilant about taking care of themselves, their pets and the environment during the heat wave.

"When people aren't used to the heat, many stay out too long or get caught without sunscreen," he said.

Hydration will be key in preparation for this weekend's Hoopfest on the streets of downtown Spokane. The event has more than 7,000 3-on-3 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 225,000 fans and 450 courts spanning 42 city blocks.

Emergency agencies are warning residents to be cautious with fireworks season in full swing and water recreation increasing.

"Though we have had significant rain, the forecasted temperatures will dry out fine fuels very quickly leaving them vulnerable to ignition from fireworks," said Dan Ryan, Kootenai County Fire and Rescue division chief.

Ryan said the Corbin Park area of the Spokane River below the Post Falls dam has traditionally caught some recreating off guard due to the swift current.

"That area is always a concern," he said. "Personal flotation devices provide a sure way to enjoy the water and beat the heat."

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