Across the Pacific Northwest, temperatures are forecast to be the hottest of the summer and aren’t expected to drop until the weekend. In Seattle and Portland, this heat wave can approach records for longevity. Both the cities are under high heat alert till Thursday evening. Seattle could see the mercury hit 90 for four straight days Friday through Friday, while afternoon temperatures in Portland will hover near 100.
The National Weather Service issued heat warnings to millions of people on Tuesday Released by the Biden administration Heat.gov“A new website to provide the public and decision makers with clear, timely and science-based information to understand and reduce the health risks of excessive heat.”
The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest comes a year after Seattle and Portland smashed all-time records with high temperatures of 108 and 116 degrees, respectively. The same event set a record in Canada, where Lytton, British Columbia, soared to 121 degrees. city Burned to the ground next day.
Predictors Seattle And Portland’s heat wave this year, while not as intense as last year’s, was notable for its longevity.
“The timing of this event is remarkable,” said Colby Newman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. “It’s six consecutive 95-degree days in Portland, and we’ll certainly be in the running to approach, equal or exceed that record.” In the next few days, we’re going to be exactly 100.
Portland International Airport hit 98.6 degrees Monday, after Tuesday’s forecast of 101 degrees, and the city will be in the upper 90s through Friday. Saturday’s high will be 95 degrees. Currently, the city is predicted to equal the record.
“When we see it go up to 100, hospital visits with heat-related illnesses are definitely above background levels,” Newman said. “With Covid still around, there is a limit to the capacity of hospitals, and these events increase that.”
Access to air conditioning is a complicating factor that increases risk in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and the homeless. In Portland, 78 percent of homes have air conditioning, but That number drops to 44 percent in Seattle.
Seattle hit 85 degrees Monday — the average high this year is 79 degrees — but every day Friday through Friday should top 90 degrees or higher. Heat waves, defined as periods of three consecutive days of 90 degrees or higher, are somewhat rare in Seattle; This would mark the 24th such event since World War II. Half of those heat waves have occurred in the past 15 years, highlighting the role of human-caused climate change in making outdoor heat events more frequent and intense.
Officially, the longest heat wave on record in Seattle is five days, which occurred in both 2015 and 1981.
“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outdoors,” the Seattle Weather Service said. “If possible, shift strenuous activity to early morning or evening.”
The agency called attention to Washington’s public service telephone hotline at 2-1-1, which can provide callers with information about cooling shelters and other services.
A particular concern is the rise in nighttime temperatures, which can keep apartments without air conditioning uncomfortably hot. Temperatures in Seattle dropped below 70 Tuesday morning.
In Portland, Tuesday’s low was 69 degrees.
“There’s a large portion of the population here that doesn’t have air conditioning,” Newman said. “In the past, people relied on opening their windows to cool their apartments. This time they can’t.
By the end of the week, high temperatures in eastern Washington will top 110 degrees Thursday and Friday, especially in the low-lying areas of the Columbia River basin.
Kennewick, Wash., about 50 miles east-southeast of Yakima, could climb to 112 degrees on Thursday and 110 degrees on Friday. Yakima will flirt with 110 degrees Thursday before reaching 108 on Friday and 105 on Saturday.
Temperatures in the 100 to 110 degree range are common in interior and northern Oregon. Medford hit a record high of 107 degrees on Monday, while Dallasport, Wash., on the Oregon border, hit 108.
The heat originates from a high pressure or “heat dome” that has stalled over the Pacific west northeast of British Columbia. This diverts the jet stream north into Canada with any inclement weather and storms. In contrast, weather in the Pacific Northwest is characterized by clear skies and warm, sinking air.
Jason Samenow contributed to this report.