Summer 2021

Courtesy of the National Weather Service.

This summer’s average was the hottest on record for most of the Inland Northwest, with most communities seeing temperatures a few degrees higher than average.

The climate normal for a summer in the Spokane area is 67.8 degrees. The average temperature in Spokane this summer, a combination of both overnight lows and daytime highs, was 73.1, several degrees above the 30-year-average and beating the county’s 2015 record.

East Of The Cascades Under Air Quality Alert

Aug 12, 2021
Washington State Department of Ecology.

All of Eastern and Central Washington is under an air quality alert due rapidly spreading wildfires fueled by unusually hot and dry conditions.  

Lisa Woodard, the spokeswoman for the Spokane Clean Air Agency, said the alert is in effect until Monday due to worsening conditions.

This weekend air quality in the Spokane area reached unhealthy levels due to wildfire smoke. This summer air quality in Okanogan County briefly was the worst in the world due to wildfires.

Summer music festivals, those great opportunities to experience favorite sounds and hear new potential favorites in relaxed settings and frequently outdoors, were an early casualty of the COVID pandemic. In 2020 performances were few and almost entirely virtual. 2021, however, is a year of resurrection and rebirth for these events that are an essential part of the art music world’s chemistry.

Summer music festivals, those great opportunities to experience favorite sounds and hear new potential favorites in relaxed settings and frequently outdoors, were an early casualty of the COVID pandemic. In 2020 performances were few and almost entirely virtual. 2021, however, is a year of resurrection and rebirth for these events that are an essential part of the art music world’s chemistry.

This is a two-part preview of regional programs: the Flathead Valley’s Festival Amadeus, and, along the Clark Fork River, the Montana Baroque Music Festival. We begin

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resource lands will be closed to the public from Friday until further notice due to the growing danger of wildfires.

Spokane Must Now Open Cooling Centers at 95 Degrees

Jul 13, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Cooling Centers opened in Spokane Public Libraries and at the Looff Carousel today and will be open until the temperature drops below 95 degrees.

The cooling centers re-opened after the Spokane City Council updated an ordinance outlining when the city needs to provide shelter – during heat, winter and smoke events.

Councilwoman Lori Kinnear called on the mayor’s administration to plan ahead for those events, which are likely to become more common due to the worsening climate crisis.

20 Spokane County Deaths Linked to Heat

Jul 9, 2021

In Spokane 20 deaths and many more medical emergencies have been linked to the heat wave that swept through the Pacific Northwest last week.

Many of the people who died due to heat exposure were found alone, without air conditioning. Health officials expect more deaths this summer across the region as unusually hot weather continues.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, 78 deaths have been attributed to the heat, but the number is likely much higher due to delays in reporting from local governments and health districts.

Evacuation Ordered For 250-Acre Fire Outside Cheney

Jul 5, 2021
Spokane Fire District 8 Firefighters

Firefighters worked overnight to contain a wildfire burning near Cheney.

As of Monday evening, the Andrus Road fire had charred more than 250 acres, according to a tweet from Washington State Patrol Jeff Sevigney. It’s burning near the Marshall Cemetery.

Spokane Transit Offering Free Rides to Cooling Centers

Jun 29, 2021

Spokane Transit says it’s working with Avista to make free bus rides available to people who want to find a cooling center to get out of the heat.

The agency says it will provide door-to-door transportation, to and from the centers. People who want a ride must call 509-328-1552 at least two hours in advance. They must wear a mask on all transit vehicles.

The service is available immediately and will continue through Friday.

Power Outages Likely To Continue Through Heat Wave

Jun 29, 2021
Avista Utilities

Power outages caused by the record-breaking heat wave could continue for the rest of the week, as high electric use and hot conditions strain the Inland Northwest’s power grid.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The unprecedented heat in the region this week poses some extra challenges for those with vegetable gardens.

 

With temperatures in the triple digits for the next several days in the Inland  Northwest many plants could stop producing food and blossoms, wilt or die.