It’s possible that the hazy smoke flowing from western wildfires could keep temperatures from rising too high this weekend in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
“The smoke from the California and Oregon wildfires has been staying mostly north across Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas,” said meteorologist Paul Fajman of the National Weather Service office in Valley. “We’ve learned from our colleagues to the north that the smoke is depressing the high temperatures from 2 to 4 degrees.”
Short-range weather models are predicting that a change in upper-level winds will allow the smoke to drift down into Nebraska and Iowa.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday in Omaha calls for high temperatures in the upper 90s.
“I’ve got 97 in the Omaha forecast for Friday,” Fajman said. “A ridge of high pressure is building over the area, and with not much wind, the warmer air is trapped here. Saturday looks to be about the same.”
The high Sunday is expected to be 96, he said, while Monday’s forecast calls for a high of 92. The weather service lists a 25% chance of rain in the early-morning hours Sunday, but that’s more likely to occur along the Nebraska-South Dakota border.
The heat is predicted to fire up Tuesday, with highs in the upper 90s forecast for most of next week.
Omaha’s average high for this time of year is 87 degrees, Fajman said.
“It’s going to be hot and stay hot,” he said.
Residents should pay attention to the daily forecasts, as heat advisories and warnings could be issued by the National Weather Service. The general rule of thumb for the issuance of a heat warning is when the maximum heat index, a combination of heat and humidity, is 105 or higher for at least two days. A heat advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions.