LA GRANDE — Mild and cooling weather is in the forecast for Union and Wallowa counties the next three days.
La Grande will have high temperatures of 77 degrees on Tuesday, Sept. 14; 72 degrees on Sept. 15, and 70 degrees on Sept. 16, according to National Weather Service forecasts. Enterprise is projected to have highs of 73 degrees on Sept. 14, 71 degrees on Sept. 15 and 67 degrees on Sept. 16.
Conditions are projected to remain dry until Sept. 17, when rain showers will be likely in Union and Wallowa counties. Widespread rain is also forecast for Sept. 18.
The rain forecast for the weekend will follow the heavy showers Northeast Oregon received on Sept. 9 and Sept 10, which was the first substantial rain Union and Wallowa counties had received in weeks. Rainfall was heaviest on Sept. 10 when La Grande received .17 of an inch of rain at the La Grande/Union County Airport. Joseph received .24 of an inch of precipitation at the Joseph Airport, according to the National Weather Service.
A low pressure system moving into the region will be responsible for the cooler weather and rainfall the Northeast Oregon is expected to have over the next week.
“Low pressure systems generate clouds and rain,” said Ann Adams, a meerologist with the National Weather Service office in Pendleton.
Adams said that the rain forecast for the upcoming weekend will get rid of much of the wildfire smoke that remains in the region, including Union and Wallowa counties.
“It will scrub much of the smoke out,” she said.
The outlook for air quality before the expected rain also looks good.
IQAIr, an air quality monitoring website, is projecting that both La Grande and Enterprise will have ratings of good on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. La Grande and Enterprise are forecast to have identical ratings of 22 on Sept. 14 and nine on Sept. 15. Anything up to 50 is rated in the good air quality category, according to the website airnow.gov.