CASA GRANDE — Pinal County residents should get a break from the hot weather this week.
A reinforcing shot of cool air will spread through the Western states during the first half of this week, bringing relief from intense heat, even to the desert areas of the Southwest.
Temperatures generally in the upper 90s are expected across Pinal County and the lower deserts of Arizona, the National Weather Service said. Phoenix should finally avoid the triple digits for the first time since July 31, with a slight chance of isolated showers.
“Phoenix has not had a high temperature below 95 since May 29, and that streak may be broken in this cooldown,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and western U.S. blogger Brian Thompson said.
Temperatures in Las Vegas are expected to dip into the lower 90s by Tuesday and Wednesday, which is about 5 degrees below average.
Dry, gusty winds sweeping in as temperatures are trimmed could create travel difficulties for motorists, especially high-profile vehicles, while elevating the risk of new wildfire ignition and spread.
Farther north, clouds and wet weather underneath the core of the cool air will put a damper on the wildfire threat.
Highs in the 60s and 70s, which are 10-15 degrees below normal, may have people grabbing for extra layers before heading out the door in places such as Salt Lake City, Medford, Oregon, Spokane, Washington, and Missoula, Montana.
Rain gear may also be needed at times.
“Just like the cluster of thunderstorms that moved through the Seattle area Saturday night, there will be additional rounds of showers and thunderstorms across the Northwest through the middle of the week,” Thompson said.
The main area that will be impacted by wet weather will be from Washington and Oregon eastward through Idaho, Montana and northern Wyoming, according to Thompson.
People heading into the back country should make sure they have the proper gear to stay warm as the combination of the cool air and damp conditions will heighten the risk of hypothermia.
It is not out of the question for some wet snowflakes to fly at Yellowstone National Park late Tuesday into Wednesday as the chilly air moves in.
While these bouts of wet weather will have people grabbing umbrellas, extra layers and enduring slower travel on occasion, the rain will not be all bad news.
“Given the drought conditions across portions of Washington and Oregon, this rainfall will be welcome,” Thompson said.
Drought conditions extend from northwestern Oregon into northwestern Montana, with western Washington enduring the worst of the drought, according to the outlook released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday.
The Northwest may get only a brief period of sunshine and rebounding warmth on Thursday before more storms move in from Friday into next weekend.