Energy & Environment

Pacific Northwest heat wave temperatures reach all-time high

Children play in the Salmon Springs Fountain in Portland, Ore. amid a record-setting heat wave
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Record-setting temperatures were recorded throughout the American Northwest on Monday, in some cases beating previous high temperatures observed only this past weekend, The Associated Press reported.

Seattle and Portland, Ore., hit 107 degrees Fahrenheit and 115 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, on Monday, both exceeding records set just days ago.

As the AP noted, these sorts of lingering “heat dome” extreme temperatures are unheard of in a region known for its cool climate. Less than half of Seattle’s residents have air conditioning, the AP reported, adding that the city’s average June high temperature is around 70.

On Sunday, a village in British Columbia set a record high temperature for the entire nation of Canada: more than 115 degrees.

Businesses, schools and even COVID-19 testing sites have been forced to close due to the heat. On Sunday, the U.S. track and field Olympic trials in Oregon were forced to postpone after temperatures went above 100 degrees and one athlete had to be carted off the field in a wheelchair.

Much of the region’s infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle such conditions, mirroring what occurred in Texas earlier this year when freezing cold temperatures brought down the state’s electric system and leaving many without heat.

Light rail and streetcar service in Portland was canceled as power cables melted, the AP reported. Roads and pavements have begun to buckle and pop due to expanding under the heat. Workers have been hosing down drawbridges to prevent them from expanding and interfering with opening and closing mechanisms.

Tags heat dome heatwave Oregon Pacific Northwest Pacific Northwest heat wave Washington

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