‘Heat dome’ in Pacific north-west breaks records as Portland braces for 115F | Seattle


Seattle, Portland and other cities in the Pacific Northwest all broke heat records over the weekend, with temperatures soaring well over 37.8 ° C.

But forecasters said Monday could be worse as mercury may hit 110F (43C) in Seattle and 115F (46C) in Portland. The high temperatures could continue in some areas on Tuesday.

The extreme weather was caused by an extensive “heatdome” parked over the Pacific Northwest. The day-long heatwave is a taste of the future as climate change changes global weather patterns, said Kristie Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington who studies global warming and its effects on public health.

People are distributing water to those who may need it and inviting them to their nearby Seattle food and drink cooling center on Sunday. Photo: Karen Ducey / Reuters

“This event will likely be one of the most extreme and persistent heat waves in recorded history of the Northwest,” said the National Weather Service. “Not only will heat endanger the health of the people living in the north-west of the country, it will also make our region increasingly vulnerable to forest fires and exacerbate the effects of our ongoing drought.”

Portland officials shut down light rail vehicles and trams due to the high temperatures, counties halted school bus traffic in the summer, and people prepared for what may be the scorcher’s hottest day.

In case you’re wondering why we’re canceling service for that day, here’s what the heat is doing to our power cables. pic.twitter.com/EqbKUgCJ3K

– Portland Streetcar (@PDXStreetcar) June 27, 2021

The great heat put a strain on the city’s power grid and the overhead lines that drive the Max trains, so operations were suspended until Tuesday morning. “The Max system is designed to operate in conditions up to 110 ° F. Forecasts show it will likely only get hotter, “the agency said in a statement.

The streets of southeast Portland were mostly empty during the hottest part of the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Restaurants with outdoor tables that would normally be crowded were deserted, and ice cream parlors and food trucks across town closed their doors for the weekend as some reported temperatures of 106 ° C in their kitchens.

With the outdoor pools closed due to the heat, residents sought refuge on the Willamette River, kayaking and boating on the stretch of water that separates the east and west sides of the city.

In Eugene, Oregon, U.S. track and field tests were suspended on Sunday afternoon and fans were asked to evacuate the stadium due to the extreme heat. The National Weather Service said it hit 110F in Eugene, breaking the all-time record of 108F.

Portland, Oregon hit 112F on Sunday, breaking the all-time temperature record of 108F set just the day before.

The temperature reached 104F in Seattle. The weather service said this was an all-time record for the city, better known for rain than heat, and it was the first time the region had seen two consecutive three-digit days since records began in 1894.

The heat wave stretched as far as British Columbia, with the temperature in Lytton, a village in the Canadian province, reaching 115 ° C on Sunday afternoon, marking a new all-time high in Canada. The heat wave also moved to Idaho, where Boise temperatures are forecast to exceed 100 ° C for at least seven days from Monday.

‘Heat dome’ in Pacific north-west breaks records as Portland braces for 115F | SeattleIsis Macadaeg plays in Jefferson Park in Seattle. Photo: Karen Ducey / Reuters

In east Washington, the Richland and Kennewick school districts have suspended buses for the summer school because the vehicles are not air-conditioned, making it unsafe for students.

Typically, the average temperature in the region for this time of year is 73 ° F. Many residents and businesses have no cooling systems. In Seattle, according to the US census, less than half of households have air conditioning. People flocked to cooling centers and cities, reminding residents where pools, wading pools, and cooling centers were available, and urged people to stay hydrated, check on their neighbors, and avoid strenuous activities.

Donna Meade told the Seattle Times, “I’m going to get air conditioning. I thought I could survive the heat, but no. We still have July, August and the smoke to get through. “