The unofficial last gasp of the summer of 2012 is going out much like it came in: with temperatures approaching 90 degrees and a yellow air-quality alert.
Smoke from the Trinity Ridge fire and blazes in California is still infiltrating the Treasure Valley. As a result, air quality is in the "moderate" category and a mandatory burn ban remains in effect.
The National Weather Service reports that areas of smoke will frame the sunshine through much of the week ahead, with highs in the mid 80s and overnight lows in the low 50s.
Meanwhile, air quality remains unhealthy in Custer County, including the cities of Challis and Stanley, because of the Halstead and Mustang Fires. Citizens in the region are being advised to limit prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity.
Long term, southwest Idaho is expected to remain under the influence of dry westerly flows through the end of this week. The next significant pattern change, with a chance of precipitation, will come Sept. 10 as a strong cold front moves across eastern Oregon and Washington.