Boise breaks another heat record. Here’s the latest on weather, fires, air quality

·2 min read

Boise’s weather is setting records again, and not the kind most people want to see.

According to the local National Weather Service, the City of Trees recorded its highest-ever 7 a.m. temperature on Monday, at 91 degrees.

A brief rain shower then also produced a burst of heat, the NWS said in a tweet. That burst produced the highest temp reading for 7 a.m. since the recording of hourly heat records started in 1939.

It was just the latest development in a hot, dry, smoky summer so far in Idaho.

Earlier this month, Boise saw nine consecutive days of temperatures reaching at least 100. That streak matched previous record heat waves in 2003, 2006 and 2015, as each year had nine straight days of triple-digit temperatures.

The combination of high temperatures and dry conditions has made Idaho and the West particularly susceptible to wildfires this summer. Nearly all of Southern Idaho and parts of southeastern Oregon are under a red flag warning for fires from the weather service until Tuesday night, as scattered thunderstorms are expected the next two days. A red flag warning is issued when conditions — high temperatures, low humidity, strong winds, lightning — create an increased risk of fire danger.

The Treasure Valley also is still shrouded in smoke, most of it coming from wildfires in Oregon and California, but there have been more than 20 fires in the Gem State, according to InciWeb. All of those have been well north of Boise so far.

Boise-area forests announced fire restrictions last week, while Idaho Gov. Brad Little asked for those heading outside this summer to limit any outdoor activity that could spark a fire. During a news conference last Tuesday at Boise’s National Interagency Fire Center, Little said fire conditions in 2021 are worse than in previous years.

“Idaho has been fortunate in recent years to avoid the devastating kind of fire seasons other states have faced, but this year could be different,” Little said.

Air quality forecasts remain about the same, according to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. The Treasure Valley remains in the yellow/moderate category, although there could be some clearing on Monday afternoon across Southern Idaho. A wind shift on Tuesday, however, will bring smoke from southern Oregon back into Southwest Idaho and into the Magic Valley, the DEQ said on its website.

Temperatures will remain in the mid- to high 90s all week in the greater Boise area, perhaps reaching triple digits again this weekend, according to the weather service.