The Pacific Northwest is set to see another bout of extreme heat after temperatures hit record highs earlier this summer, with heat advisories in place in 34 states across the country Wednesday.
The National Weather Service’s Portland, Ore., office imposed an excessive heat warning Tuesday for broad swaths of Washington state and western Oregon. High temperatures Thursday and Friday are projected to break 100 degrees, with nighttime temperatures not falling below 80 until close to midnight.
Meanwhile, Mt. Rainier National Park officials warned current extreme temperatures combined with the effects of those earlier in the summer could lead to debris avalanches. Dramatically reduced snowpack has increased the risk, park officials said, adding to quickly move "at least 150' uphill if you notice a rapid rise in river level, feel the ground shake, or hear a rumbling sound.”
Excessive heat combined w/the non-existent snowpack could cause debris flows. Quickly move uphill at least 150' uphill if you notice a rapid rise in river level, feel the ground shake, or hear a rumbling sound. [NPS/MHaynes pic debris flow damage on Tahoma Creek, 8/13/15] ~pw pic.twitter.com/gHGMUip4Gr— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) August 11, 2021
Much of the region lacks air conditioning due to scant experience with extreme heat, compounding the risks from such temperatures.
Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOregon governor to call special session to approve renter protections Less than 2 percent of philanthropy goes toward our biggest threat — climate change BBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children MORE (D) has declared a state of emergency in the state through next Friday, urging residents without air conditioning to develop a plan to get to an air conditioned location.
Please treat these hot temperatures seriously. Heat-related illnesses are preventable—please learn the symptoms. If you do not have air conditioning in your home, make a plan right now to find a cool location you can access.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) August 11, 2021
Elsewhere in the U.S., cities including Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville and Houston are also projected to see scorching temperatures, according to NBC News. East Coast cities including Washington, New York and Boston will also see excessive humidity that makes days in the 90s feel above 100.
Drought conditions, meanwhile, have led to an all-time record for dryness in Olympia, Wash., of 56 days, increasing the risk of wildfires. The state currently has 15 large fires burning, covering 251,725 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Oregon, meanwhile, currently has 16 fires covering 597,016 acres.
In a few minutes Olympia will set a new record for the longest dry streak at 56 days. Old record 55 days, June 20th to August 13th, 1960. With no moon in the sky it will be a good time to check out the Perseid meteor shower. The meteor shower peaks the next 3 early mornings.#wawx— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 11, 2021