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‘It’s only going to get hot’: Heat wave blasts northwest

Seattle: Seattle 100 °F (38 °C) has been hit only three times in recorded history. The National Weather Service says the city could top triple digits several times in the coming days and eclipse the all-time record of 103 F (39 C) on Monday.
As a historic heat wave swept across the Pacific Northwest Washington and Oregon, temperatures are expected to rise as much as 30 degrees above normal in many areas.
“If you’re keeping a written list of records that will fall, you may need a few pages early next week,” NWS Seattle tweeted.
Extreme and dangerous heat was expected to break all-time records in cities and towns from eastern Washington state to southern Oregon as concerns grew about the risk of wildfire in an area already experiencing a crippling and extended drought. She had gone
Seattle was expected to rise above 100 F (C) over the weekend and in Portland, Oregon, weather forecasters said thermometers could rise to 108 F (42 C) by Sunday, an all-time high of 107 F (42 C). Can break records. was established in 1981. The unusually hot weather was expected to extend into most parts of the region by next week.
A northwest heat wave sent residents accustomed to mild heat to an area where many people do not have air conditioning. Stores sold portable air conditioners and fans, some hospitals canceled outdoor vaccination clinics, cities opened cooling centers, baseball teams canceled weekend games or utilities furloughed potential power outages.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee lifts COVID-19 capacity restrictions on publicly owned or operated and non-profit cooling centers in light of the heat. Capacity is currently limited to 50% until the state fully opens up next Wednesday.
And in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown on Wednesday suspended capacity limits for movie theaters and shopping malls _ places with air conditioning _ as well as swimming pools before reopening statewide.
According to 2019 data from the US Census Bureau, Seattle has the lowest rate of air-conditioned homes of any major US city. Only 44% of homes in the metro area have air conditioning. The figure was 79% in the Portland metro area.
At a hardware store in Seattle, about a dozen people lined up before the air conditioning unit opened, hoping to snag it. An employee opened the door at 8 a.m. with bad news: There were only three units.
One of the lucky buyers was Sarah O’Sell, who was worried for her cat amid triple-digit predictions.
“Unfortunately, we’re starting to see this year over year,” said O’Cell, who used a dolly to move his new unit to his nearby apartment. “We’re going to be like California and that’s going to be desert below. It’s only going to get hotter.”
The sweltering temperatures expected on the final weekend of the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon, also prompted USA Track and Field to reschedule several weekend events several times a day to avoid the extreme heat.
And families stood in the scorching sun for ice cream and precious few hours at the community pool still working under capacity restrictions due to Covid-19.
Sarah Stathos was selling ice cream from inside an air-conditioned food truck in Portland and said the business would close over the weekend because ice cream “basically melts as we hand it out to customers” in such hot weather.
“We don’t want people to stand in the sun, wait and get sick,” she said.
The expanded “heat dome” was the taste of the future for the Pacific Northwest as climate change alters weather patterns around the world, said Christy Abbey, a professor at the University of Washington who studies global warming and its effects on public health. .
“We know from worldwide evidence that climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves. We have to get used to moving forward. Temperatures are rising and extreme temperatures are increasing even more rapidly,” he said.
“I tell my students that when they’re as old as me, they’ll look back and think about how great summers used to be.”
He added that summer is also a concern for the region because warm air absorbs moisture from soil and vegetation more efficiently than cold air, and this increases the risk of fires in everything.
Oregon was particularly devastated by an unusually intense wildfire season, which engulfed nearly 1 million acres (404,685 ha), burned more than 4,000 homes and killed nine people. According to the US Drought Monitor, several fires are already burning around the Pacific Northwest and much of the region is already in extreme or exceptional drought.
Firefighters were being deployed ahead of time in areas where the risk of fire was high and counties and cities across the region enforced burn bans _ even individual fireworks for the 4th of July holiday weekend was temporarily banned.

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