The rain and cool weather Missoula has been experiencing will soon be a distant memory, as a huge high-pressure system will be moving into the area over the weekend and into the Fourth of July holiday, bringing possible record high temperatures.

Senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Missoula Bob Nestor said on Wednesday that the high pressure and hot temperatures will envelop most of the western United States.

"We'll be expecting some historic heat for this time of year," Nestor said. "Thursday and Friday, we'll be reaching highs near the 90 degree mark, then Saturday through next Tuesday we'll be expecting temperatures in the high 90's, possibly into the century mark in some areas."

Nestor said some records are in danger of falling during this heat wave.

"There is some potential for records to be broken," Nestor said. "For example, Missoula has only had a 100 degree day once in the month of June, and that was in 1918, nearly 100 years ago. It's not out of the question that we could hit the century mark Saturday or Sunday...and that marks the end of June, so it'll be close. We could also see 100 degree temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, July 1st and 2nd."

Nestor said there will be little increase in fire danger due to the amount of moisture the area has received over the past few weeks. He also pointed out the possible effect of this wide ranging high pressure system on areas like Las Vegas.

"The Las Vegas area is going to be expecting extraordinary heat, with highs near 125 degrees in Death Valley," Nestor said. "The all time world record for heat is 134 degrees set about a hundred years ago in Death Valley. Be sure and let people know to stay hydrated during the coming hot weather, and take it easy with strenuous activity like hiking and be careful... it's going to get pretty hot."

Senior Meteorologist Bob Nestor