Blistering heat wave to send temperatures soaring in western Montana; experts urge caution

A sweltering swath of near-record-breaking heat parked itself across western Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington this weekend, which means the danger to people and pets will rise along with the mercury.

As of Thursday afternoon, forecasters predict a high of 98 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday in Missoula, a high of 100 or 101 on Saturday and a high of 101 again on Sunday before it cools down slightly to 96 on Monday. The low temperatures at night should drop to the low or mid-60s.

“It’s a big dome of hot air locked over us,” explained LeeAnn Allegretto, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula. She said northern Idaho and eastern Washington will be even hotter during the day and at night. Nighttime temperatures in the 60s and 70s can be dangerous to health as well, she noted, “Especially for folks who don’t have access to any cooling or air conditioning or anything like that.”

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