Even the Fourth of July looks sunny, warm in long-range forecasts

The first day of summer might have been last Friday, but try telling that to the weather gods.

We've gotten rain, cloudy skies and sticky humidity.

But prepare to put those wool slacks and boots away.

"The hottest weather of the season is likely on the way for the Pacific Northwest coming this weekend, and it could get even hotter next week," said Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorologist Society.

Temperatures will abruptly shift from cloudy, damp and mainly in the mid-60s to hot summer weather by this Friday, confirmed a special weather statement from the National Weather Service's Portland OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - River lifeguard Shawn Houston keeps an eye out for trouble along the Sandy River at Troutdale. With hot weather in the forecast, crowds are expected to increase along local waterways as people seek relief from the heat.

Highs are expected to warm up to around 80 degrees Thursday, June 27, and to nearly 90 degrees by Friday, June 28.

"Humidity left over from our recent rains will make it feel muggier than usual, and nights will be slow to cool off," the statement reads.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s or lower 90s throughout the weekend.

"The last day of June could bring the first 90-degree day of the year to PDX," local meteorologist and Gresham High School graduate Stephanie Kralevich posted on her Facebook page.

Some computer models indicate temperatures would push well into the 90s through early next week. It all depends on exactly where a predicted ridge of high pressure sets up, Pierce said. "The latest weather models now place the center of the ridge directly over Portland and Seattle Sunday through Tuesday with hot offshore flow aloft and near the surface," he said. If that holds true, temperatures could near 100 degrees in Portland early next week.

"This would be rare for this early in the season," Pierce said. "Only a handful of days before July 4 have passed 100 degrees in Portland history. Record daily high temperatures for Portland in the first few days of July are all in the upper 90s."

Even the Fourth of July promises to be pleasant.

The Weather Channel forecasts a sunny day with zero change of rain and temperatures nearing 80 degrees.

"Get out those shorts and prime that pool for some swimming," Pierce said. "If you don’t have a pool, make friends with someone who does. You may just need it."

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