Heat wave bound for Malheur County

A local family staying cool at the Ontario Splash Park. (The Enterprise/Rachel Parsons)

ONTARIO – Area residents should drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun and search for a nice piece of shade during the next few days as temperatures are expected to climb to new records.

Temperatures are forecast to hit 99 to 100 Wednesday, June 2, said Bill Wojcik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boise.

“It will be a record if it holds,” said Wojcik.

The previous record for June 2 in Ontario was 98 degrees, set in 1986.

On Thursday, June 3, temperatures are forecast to climb to 102. The previous temperature record for June 3 was 101 set in 1971, said Wojcik. The high Tuesday is expected to be 94 degrees in Ontario.

The culprit for the hot weather is a strong high-pressure system that formed on the coast and continues to build across the region, said Wojcik.

“It is normal to get some sort of heat wave and, looking back historically, we’ve had triple digits temps in Ontario. What makes this different is that it is earlier and hotter. This is not unusual in the middle of summer. But we are not even into summer yet,” said Wojcik.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for Thursday.

“The reason why we have this heat watch is folks are not quite ready for this and we want them to be aware of it,” said Wojcik.

Wojcik recommended that people stay indoors “as much as they can in the afternoon and drink plenty of fluids.”

The heat wave, though, won’t last long, said Wojcik.

“The pattern we are in, there is a pretty strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska,” said Wojcik.

Once the storm begins to move out of the Gulf of Alaska, said Wojcik, the heat wave will fade.

“We will see a cold front come in later in the week and temperatures will cool down Friday. We will still be pretty warm, in the upper 90s, but Sunday it drops to 81,” said Wojcik.

The sudden heat wave comes after a near normal May in terms of temperatures. Wojcik said the average temperature in Boise in May is 59 degrees with an average high of 72.

“We had some warm spells and some cool spells. May 6, we got up to 90, then on the eighth we were 60 for a high. Then we warmed back up into the 80s but by May 21 we were at 55,” said Wojcik.

In May, Boise received 1.4 inches in rainfall. The average rainfall in May for Boise is 2.13 inches.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].


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