A sense of déjà vu hung in the air as Washington and Oregon faced scorching temperatures amid the region’s second major heat wave this summer.
Temperatures in Portland hit 102 F (39 C) in the late afternoon Thursday and Seattle peaked in the 90s, with more heat expected on Friday.
Although temperatures are not expected to be as severe as during the heatwave in late June, when some areas exceeded 115F (46C), several cities have issued excessive heat warnings.
In Seattle, the temperature was expected to reach 96F (36C) on Friday, while the record for that day is only 92F (33C), according to Eric Schoening, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Yakima, in southern Washington, could hit 104F (40C) on Friday.
In Beaverton, Oregon, where temperatures could again reach 102F (39C) on Friday, the community center was providing air-conditioned overnight shelter to those in need.
Temperatures of 102 F (39 C) in Portland on Thursday were warmer than temperatures recorded in Phoenix, where the maximum in the desert city was below normal 100 F (38 C). Portland typically sees temperatures in the 80s throughout August.
Volunteers rushed to distribute water, portable ventilators, popsicles and refreshing shelter information to homeless people living in isolated settlements on the outskirts of town.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency earlier in the week due to the extreme heat.
Brown said in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday: “Please take these hot temperatures seriously. Heat-related illnesses are preventable. Please learn the symptoms. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, make a plan now to find a cool place that you can access.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Thursday: “Dangerously high temperatures coming for Seattle. She included a map of cooling center locations, a list of water coolers, and tips for keeping cool.
Seattle officials said they would monitor key infrastructure such as power systems, water systems, roads and bridges, and coordinate outreach teams that can help some of the most vulnerable people to do so. in the face of high temperatures.
Officials in Washington and Oregon have urged residents to stay hydrated, watch their loved ones, and use the dozens of cooling centers in libraries, community centers and other spaces in the region. In Portland, the local transportation system offered free rides to cooling centers during the heatwave.
“Heat can kill. Make a plan to stay cool, ”warned a recording sent to Portland residents.
The heat wave comes just weeks after record high temperatures claimed hundreds of lives in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and western Canada. In Oregon, 96 people were killed in the June heatwave, including a farm worker.
Meteorologists reported that the extreme temperatures came from two pressure systems, while a World Weather Attribution study determined the heat wave would have been “virtually impossible without man-made climate change.”
Authorities attributed this week’s heatwave to a high-pressure system or thermal dome over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. He is expected to move east at the end of the weekend, according to Schoening.
At the same time, Oregon state climatologist Larry O’Neill previously told The Guardian: “These types of heat waves are made worse and having more impact because of climate change.
Temperatures are expected to peak on Friday and Saturday, cool slightly in western Washington and western Oregon on Saturday, and then really start to cool significantly across the region on Sunday and Monday, according to Schoening.
Residents of Washington and Oregon will also have to deal with smoke from fires in Idaho, Washington and British Columbia, according to Schoening. There are air quality issues from the smoke, he said, but it could also serve to cool the area slightly.
“With that smoke in the air, it will reflect some of that sunlight back into space, which could help cool temperatures a few degrees,” he said.
Scorching weather also hit other parts of the United States this week. The National Weather Service said heat advisories and warnings are in effect from the Midwest to the Northeast and Mid Atlantic until at least Friday.