Over the next few days, a heat alert will affect more than 12 million people in the United States Pacific Northwest.
According to the NWS Weather Prediction Center, “above-normal temperatures are forecast to persist along the West Coast through the period while extending across the Intermountain West and into the Rockies early this week,” with daytime highs 10–20 degrees above normal expected on Monday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 16.
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Forecasters warned that “high temperatures may once again exceed their daily records for parts of the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle and Portland metro regions on Monday.” This is even though “a weak area of low pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere may provide some relief and an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms.”
This past weekend, record-high temperatures were recorded in four different locales in the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest. In Quillayute, the temperature reached 90 degrees on Saturday, which surpassed the previous record from 1975 by 2 degrees.
Olympia hit 89 degrees on Saturday, May 13, breaking its previous high-temperature record set in 1973, and Hoquiam also hit 89 degrees on Saturday, breaking its last high-temperature record set in 1973. Sea-Tac hit 86 degrees, up one degree from the prior record set in 2018.
On Saturday, the temperature in Portland, Oregon, reached 93 degrees, shattering the previous record of 92 degrees, established in 1973. NWS records show that on Saturday, record-high temperatures were reached or tied in four other areas in Oregon and Washington.
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The caution comes as municipal authorities in Portland recommended locals seek more relaxed spaces, such as libraries and community centers, during the wave of high temperatures slamming the city. It is also recommended that citizens “Stock up on fans/air conditioners and sun-blocking curtains, sunscreen, and other summer essentials.”
Due to the extreme heat, King County, Seattle’s home county, has announced plans to operate additional cooling centers.