We will cool down slightly for the end of the week, then warm back up slightly over the weekend. A slight chance for isolated thunderstorms Sunday with the chances increasing into early next week.
Over the past week, we saw hot temperatures and dry weather. The temperatures are finally starting to cool slightly Wednesday through the end of the week.
With the hot temperatures and dry weather, we saw an uptick in the number of fires around the state this week. That will likely only get worse through the rest of the dry season. Luckily for the Tahoe Basin so far the location of the fires and the wind direction have kept most of the smoke away from the area, for now...
The high temperatures are cooling back into the low-mid 80s in the valleys for Thursday - Friday, and maybe only upper 70s out on the lake on top of the cooler lake waters. For the mountains, we will have highs in the 70s down lower and 50s for the highest peaks around the lake. The strong high-pressure ridge responsible for the heat over the last several days weakens and shifts away from the region.
The typical afternoon Zephyr breezes from the southwest will increase each afternoon. Gusts of 15-20+ mph on the lake causing choppy water away from the west shore during the afternoons, and gusts over the peaks of 20-30+ mph.
Dry air in place will keep us sunny during the day with no thunderstorm chances.
Over the weekend we will start warm back up slightly, but highs still in the 80s at lake level and then 70s & 60s as you go up in elevation. You can always see the hourly mountain top forecasts on OpenSummit.
The afternoon Zephyr winds continuing. A slight increase in moisture in the atmosphere by Sunday afternoon could bring some cumulonimbus clouds over the mountains and maybe a stray isolated thunderstorm.
Even more dangerous this time of year are the dry lightning strikes that spark forest fires. That has been responsible for many of the fires we have been seeing this month in the Sierra and Cascades.
As we go into next week high pressure looks like it will build to our east over the West bringing another round of hotter temperatures for that region. It will continue to warm us up slightly but not as much as this past week when the high was over our region.
Here is a look at the temperature departures from average by Monday. High temperatures should remain in the 80s at lake level with the hottest temperatures looking to remain to the east. Afternoon winds should also continue.
The one change going into early next week will be that the southerly flow on the western side of the high over the West will help to draw monsoonal moisture northward towards CA. Most of the moisture should stay to our south, but the increase could bring a better chance for afternoon thunderstorms to pop up in spots. Here is a look at the total precipitation forecast through Tuesday.
Thunderstorms are our best chance of seeing precipitation this time of the year. It can be a catch-22 for fires. Heavy downpours can help to bring relief to the dry conditions, but lightning strikes accompanied by little or no precipitation will cause fires. So it's always hard to know if we should be excited about thunderstorms during the summer.
Let's just plan on having a wet season ahead with big snow that takes all summer to melt next summer. That is a better option for moisture and wetter conditions! I will have more thoughts about the conditions going into the wet season once we get closer to the end of the summer and have a clearer picture.
Until then, I'll be continuing the weekly Wednesday posts with your weekend weather through the end of the summer. We are working hard on the new features for OpenSummit and will be shifting gears towards new features for OpenSnow by the end of the summer!