After a brief pause in the upward trend of temperatures Friday, we are back on the rise for the next several days. A flat ridge of high pressure will slowly strengthen across the west, bringing sunshine and high temperatures in the upper 90s over the weekend and into the low triple digits by early next week. Winds will be generally light with some afternoon Washoe Zephyr breezes in the afternoons.

Washoe Zephyr

We live in a breezy part of the country… and in the summer, you can almost count on the wind kicking up in the afternoons. The “Washoe Zephyr” I mentioned above is our local moniker given to the late afternoon thermal winds that swoop through our western valleys. Mark Twain was actually the first to coin the term. What causes them?

Mark Twain

It’s all due to differential heating. In the late hours of the day, the sun drops lower into the western sky. That causes its rays to directly hit the hills on the east side of the valley, heating them up… while the hills on the western side fall into shadow and cool.  The warm air on the eastern side rises, while the cooler west air sinks, and you have a conveyor belt effect that sweeps winds out of the west to the east.

Washoe Lake