As the westerly flow slowly picks up across western Nevada and the northern Sierra, the scorching temperatures will slowly start to ease as we head into the weekend. While that, along with the accompanying west winds could help clear a little of the smoke out of some areas, it will also increase the fire danger and could result in worse smoke in some areas directly downwind from the major blazes. The NWS has posted a Red Flag Warning for Thursday and a Fire Weather Watch for Friday and Saturday as a result. Highs will top out near 100 degrees on Thursday, and will steadily fall to the low 90s by the end of the weekend.
Yesterday, I talked about the classic monsoon over in India. Here in the southwestern part of the United Stated, we’ve adopted the term and apply it to the relatively persistent south wind we get around the Four-Corners High during the mid-summer months. It draws moist unstable air up out of Mexico across Arizona and sends it our way, and is one of the chief contributors to thunderstorm development. And while one might argue whether it is a true monsoon, since we really don’t get a seasonal reversal, the name has stuck.