For a second consecutive summer season, a significant heatwave is cooking the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle set a brand new temperature file for July 26 on Tuesday with the thermometer hitting 94 levels round 5 p.m. at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Temperatures in Portland this week have been even hotter, whereas Vancouver has additionally skilled abnormally sizzling climate.
The heatwave, which has resulted in days of extreme warmth warnings from the National Weather Service for each main northwest cities, comes after the area skilled considered one of its wettest and coldest springs in current reminiscence.
Seattle and Portland have each been recognized for his or her nice, temperate summers, however the intensification of local weather change has meant the area has more and more confronted harmful heatwaves. Last yr, a late June warmth dome within the northwest that noticed temperatures climb properly into triple digits claimed the lives of some 800 folks in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
The present heatwave is just not almost as extreme because the one final yr, nevertheless it nonetheless poses a severe danger to susceptible residents in a area that lacks a lot of the infrastructure essential to cope with excessive warmth. Both Seattle and Portland opened cooling shelters yesterday and plan to maintain them open for the subsequent a number of days, with Portland’s public transportation company asserting that it’ll not flip away riders in search of to achieve cooling facilities who can’t pay their fare.
With temperatures anticipated to remain elevated by way of Saturday, public well being officers have warned that the damaging results of utmost warmth could be cumulative over a lot of days and that the area’s air high quality may even endure on account of elevated smog.
“We’re not used to this kind of heat,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kirby Cook advised the Seattle Times. “When you have day after day of heat it can add up; it’s significant.”
Parts of Washington and Oregon have remained cool, particulary near the Pacific Ocean. The Washington Coast city of Long Beach has a forecasted excessive temperature of simply 67 levels on Wednesday, whereas the favored Oregon Coast city of Cannon Beach has a projected excessive of 66.
The northwest is just not, by any means, the one a part of the nation that has skilled excessive warmth in current weeks. The northeast just lately suffered by way of a significant heatwave of its personal, with temperatures reaching 100 levels in cities like Newark and Boston.
Texas and components of the southwest have additionally skilled irregular warmth in current months. In whole, thousands and thousands of Americans have been left contending with extreme warmth warnings all through the summer season.
It’s doubtless a preview of what’s to come back. Absent main interventions to cease and reverse world warming, US summers are set to proceed getting hotter and warmer in future years.