North Central Washington and the Columbia Basin are bracing for a taste of summer heat in the days ahead more than six weeks ahead of schedule.

Meteorologist Joey Clevenger with the National Weather Service Office in Spokane says the unseasonably warm weather will hit the region by Friday due to a lofty ridge of high pressure off the Washington Coast.

"It's just a ridge developing off the coast, a high-pressure system that's making its way into the state from the Southern Pacific area and will bring us our first warm spell of the season."

Clevenger says the weather system will not only supply the entire region with cloudless skies and abundant sunshine, but will also create daytime temperatures up to 20 degrees above normal for mid-May.

"The normal high for this time of the year around Wenatchee is the low 70s, so we'll definitely be well above that."

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High temps are expected to push into the upper 80s on Friday and low 90s on Saturday in the Wenatchee Valley, which could tie its record high of 92 degrees set in 1993 for May 11.

In the Columbia Basin, daytime highs will also be sizzling, with near-records predicted for both Saturday and Sunday.

Clevenger says high temperatures will return to seasonal norms by early next week, but the sunshine should stick around for even longer.

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