NWS Spokane has issued both an air quality alert and excessive heat watch this week. The air quality alert is in effect until 10 am Friday, August 10th. Smoke from wildfires in Washington, Idaho, BC and areas to our south will cause unhealthy air for the next few days. High pressure over the region will bring light winds and very little ventilation of smoke. Children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory illnesses are most at risk of serious health effects. If you experience respiratory distress, you should speak with your physician. For general information about air quality and wildfire smoke, go to http://ehs.wsu.edu/ph/wildfiresmoke.html.

The excessive heat watch will be in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Friday evening. Thursday likely will be the hottest day, with many local areas exceeding 100 degrees. Hot temperatures and limited relief overnight will increase chances for heat related illness especially for those without access to air conditioning.  Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned room, and stay out of the sun if possible.

Update: NWS Spokane has also issued a fire weather watch in effect Thursday afternoon through Friday evening for hot, dry and unstable conditions Thursday followed by dry, gusty winds for Friday. Expect light winds Thursday, and winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph by Friday. Hot, dry and unstable conditions could lead to increased growth on current fires. Any thunderstorms could lead to new fire starts. Dry and breezy winds have the potential for increased fire spread of current or new fires.