PORTLAND, Ore. — A historic heatwave hitting the Pacific Northwest is being described by the National Weather Service as intense, prolonged, record-breaking, unprecedented, abnormal, and dangerous.
Seattle, Portland, and other cities broke all-time heat records over the weekend, with temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees.
Portland had the hottest day ever recorded on Sunday — reaching 112 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the all-time temperature record of 108 degrees, which was set just a day earlier, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record for Oregon’s largest city was 107 F, a mark hit in 1965 and 1981.
Seattle, a city known for being cool and rainy, also broke a record when the temperature hit 104 F.
Forecasters said Monday would be worse, with the mercury hitting possibly 110 degrees in Seattle and even higher in the Portland area before it begins to cool Tuesday.
With the heatwave gripping the region, officials in Portland have shut down light rail and streetcars due to high temperatures, districts have halted summer school bus service, and people are bracing for possibly the hottest day of the scorcher.
The heatwave has also moved into Idaho, where temperatures above 100 degrees are forecast in Boise for at least seven days starting Monday.
To make matters worse, many in the region don’t have air conditioning in their homes because it doesn’t normally get that hot there. As a result, stores sold out of portable air conditioners and fans.
Some hospitals have also canceled outdoor vaccination clinics, cities have opened cooling centers, baseball teams have canceled or moved up weekend games, and utilities are bracing for possible power outages.