Today is the beginning of a strong heat wave that will intensify throughout the week topping off near 100 degrees by the start of the weekend under sunny skies and calm weather.
The Inland Northwest will be in a westerly flow between a mid-level low-pressure system over Canada and high pressure around the Four Corners region of the Southwest United States. Weak disturbances passing in this flow will have limited moisture and instability to work with, with only slight shower and thunderstorm chances over the north Cascades near the Canadian border this afternoon/early evening. Otherwise, look for some afternoon cumulus around the mountains and transient high clouds. Compared to recent days, winds will be lighter today out of the west at 5 mph.
The wildcard in the forecast remains smoke coverage from any regional wildfires, but thus far it hasn`t really affected many areas away from the immediate fires so it remains limited in the forecast.
For our upcoming weekend, the western area high-pressure to our south will amplify into the northwest. This is pretty much a classic weather pattern for really hot weather in the Inland Northwest. By Sunday, everyone should be well into the 90s with a few spots reaching 100, including the Wenatchee Valley. By next Monday, all of the models bring a Pacific weather system onshore, which initiates a minor cooling trend.