Weekly Weather Event -Week of June 21stJune 26, 2021
Record breaking heat is impacting the Pacific Northwest both this week and into the weekend. Temperatures 25-35 degrees above normal are expected in the region, including cities like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Portland last had a three-day stretch of above 100 degree weather in 2009, but a heat wave this strong has never happened in June; temperatures this high are more common in late July and early August. Since Seattle began keeping weather records in 1894, temperatures have only been above 100 degrees three times in its history.
Unlike parts of the United States that see warm weather more often, the Pacific Northwest has far fewer households with air conditioning. Seattle and Portland rank first and third respectively for major U.S. cities with the fewest air-conditioned houses. Per a U.S Census Bureau study in 2019, only 44% of Seattle-area homes had air conditioning. With household air conditioning being less common, public cooling centers are being set up. In times of extreme heat, warm nights can be an additional risk. When temperatures do not drop low enough during the cooler night hours, it can be harder for people to cool down from the stresses of extreme daytime heat.
During extreme heat events, the National Weather Service recommends drinking plenty of fluids, staying out of the sun, and checking up on housebound relatives and neighbors. If you need to work outside, they recommend moving activities into the early morning or evening hours. Never leave children or pets unattended in cars.