The moderate Pacific Northwest is experiencing record-breaking heatwaves. Temperatures have driven people to the region’s beaches, swimming pools and air-conditioned hotels. As residents of regions with few air-conditioned households have made great efforts to provide relief.
Here’s what you need to know:
A heat wave has engulfed the region. Both Portland and Seattle broke record high temperatures. (Portland touches 112F while Seattle touches 104F) over the weekend. Seattle goes up to 100F for three days in a row. A first for a generally cloudy city. Washington state hit a record high in June. At least part of the state hit 115F on Sunday.
in many areas outside these city centers Temperatures will get even more intense, Washington state meteorologist Nick Bond said in Canby in northwest Oregon reached 118F over the weekend. At the same time, Spokane, Wenatchee and Pullman, Washington both hit record highs for overnight temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.
Air quality is still a concern in some areas. on monday Air cleaning agency Puget Sound tweeted that the extreme heat had caused air quality in the Cascade foothills to be “unhealthy”.
The heat warning also applies to most western Canada. The country set the highest recorded temperature on Sunday in Lytton village to 115F (46.1C).
Why is this happening?
Richard Bann, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Center for Prediction, explained heat waves were caused by two pressure systems, one from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and the other from James Bay and Hudson Bay in Canada.
“The Northwestern Pacific Ocean is trapped in a region of persistent response, making these extremely hot temperatures, not at all, very hot temperatures. with very little cloud cover and very warm temperatures at night too,” he said.
And these types of extreme weather events are exacerbated by global warming.
Heat waves are described as The term “thermal dome” refers to the idea that this type of warmth extends into the high atmosphere and not just the thin layer, and can affect pressure and wind patterns. “That’s important in the Pacific Northwest with current events. Because it acts to shut off the cold sea air current from the Pacific Ocean to the land area,” Bond said.
How unusual is it?
Bond said similar incidents don’t happen often. by every one to three decades
“I was amazed that we were able to pick up the temperatures we observed here in the Pacific Northwest. especially on the west side of the Cascades. [have] The proximity to the ocean can be hot for days in a row,” he said. “I would be willing to speculate on something like that in the middle of the century. the end of the century.”
Why is this a concern?
Although these temperatures are not the worst in the country. But it has a very negative effect on this region. The area is unfamiliar and not adapted to these types of temperatures, Bond explains.
“When the weather is very hot here We haven’t learned to deal with it the same way other parts of the country have,” he said.
He gave the example of a colleague who had an apartment in Seattle up to 100F when she looked for an air-conditioned hotel. She found that most in and around Seattle is sold out. and hotels that don’t charge hundreds of dollars in one night.
How long will it last?
Relief is coming in some parts of the region. including Seattle and Portland. According to Bond But they will continue to experience higher-than-normal temperatures for the next two weeks. Such prolonged heat can be detrimental in wildfires and have a huge negative effect on land agriculture, he said.
But Ban added that the land would still be very hot. Temperatures are hovering around 113F in some areas, he said. Those areas should see high temperatures continuing into the middle or later this week.
How do people cope?
throughout the region Residents have turned to cooling centers, beaches, swimming pools and hotels for relief.
On Sunday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan Announcing the opening of the Amazon Convention Center as a cooling center It said it had a capacity of 1,000 people, the city also underscored the fact that last Saturday “Library and water activities get the most attention from residents and families.”
Multnomah County, which includes Portland It has opened several libraries as cooling centers, as well as the Oregon Convention Center and Arbor Lodge Shelter.
Some people in these regions posted to social media groups in their neighborhoods as they searched for air conditioners, fans, or simple tips. to cool yourself down