Cooling trend on tap for holiday weekend in Tri-Cities

Temperatures are expected to fall below normal for the holiday weekend in the Tri-Cities.

The high is expected to drop into the upper 70s for the first two days of the weekend, but might reach 82 degrees for Labor Day. Normal highs for the start of September in the Tri-Cities are about 85 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Skies should be mostly sunny for the three-day weekend, with some clouds possible overnight today.

For those leaving town, gas in Washington is expected to cost more than a year ago. Gas costs about $3.82 a gallon in the Tri-Cities, up from $3.66 a year ago, according to AAA. In Seattle, gas costs $3.93, up from $3.78 a year ago.

Traffic will be heavy on Interstate 90 westbound from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Traffic returning to the Mid-Columbia on Labor Day will be heaviest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

Although weather will be cooler this weekend, the fire danger remains high, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Some fire restrictions have been eased, including allowing some campfires in established fire rings in some designated campgrounds on state land in Eastern Washington. Campers should check on restrictions before they leave home. The state agency urges the public to keep campfires small, if they are allowed, and have plenty of water and a shovel nearby.

The Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors to its waterways to wear a lifejacket. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for U.S. residents 15 to 44 years old, it said. About half of teen and adult water recreation deaths involve alcohol use, it said.