State of emergency declared in Oregon as Pacific Northwest enters new triple-digit deadly heatwave

Record heatwave across Washington and Oregon August 2021
Record heatwave across Washington and Oregon in August 2021. Map via Accuweather

Oregon declared a state of emergency as the Pacific Northwest prepared for triple-digit temperatures mere weeks after a deadly heatwave clobbered the region. People streamed into cooling centers and misting stations on Wednesday amid sweltering heat.

Governor Kate Brown said: “Oregon is facing yet another extreme heatwave, and it is critical that every level of government has the resources they need to help keep Oregonians safe and healthy.

The declaration went into effect on Tuesday, amid concerns over the safety of residents, some of whom do not have air conditioning, and the impact the soaring temperatures could have on critical infrastructure. The order is expected to remain in place until 20 August.

In a worst-case scenario, the temperature could reach 111°F (44°C) in some parts of western Oregon by Friday before a weekend cooldown. But temperatures are more likely to rise to 100°F or above for three consecutive days, peaking around 105°F on Thursday.

Sizzling weather also was expected in other parts of the country. The NWS said heat advisories and warnings would be in effect from the midwest to the north-east and mid-Atlantic through at least Friday.

Brown, the governor, recommended Oregonians take proactive steps to keep cool, including:

  • Staying well hydrated
  • Visiting one of the dozens of cooling centers at libraries, community centers and other spaces across the state
  • Watching out for neighbors, friends and family.

The heatwave arrives less than two months after record-high temperatures, which in some areas exceeded 115°F (46°C), resulted in hundreds of deaths across the Pacific north-west and western Canada.

heatwave june 2021 deaths pacific northwest
Deaths during heatwave of June 2021 along Pacific Northwest (Washngton and Oregon). Picture via Twitter

Washington state is expected to see extremely high temperatures too, with an excessive heat warning across much of the eastern half of the state. The city of Yakima could see triple digits four days straight beginning on Wednesday, according to the NWS. Seattle is expected to be slightly cooler, with temperatures in the low or mid-90s.

Meanwhile, in California, the state’s largest single wildfire in recorded history continued to grow after destroying more than 1,000 buildings. The fire is 30% contained, according to Cal Fire. Fire crews are bracing for rising temperatures and declining humidity in coming days.

Meanwhile, in south-eastern Montana, communities in and around the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation were ordered to evacuate as the uncontrolled Richard Spring fire grew amid erratic winds. [Guardian]

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  1. When I see inbound heatwaves, I swamp my trees, and bark mulch. Keeps your rootball cooler, and yields higher 02 uptake. Prune down the small crappy branches near the center, that grow inward too.

    At least they posted safety tips for humans. Sometimes they don’t bother. Then people do stupid things, like get drunk in the heat. Coffee is a also diuretic, so avoid too much jiggle juice, mainly so you don’t have to use the bathroom, and dehydrate your water balance.

    • While I am at it, avoid milk, cheese, and dairy during heatwaves. Makes you sluggish, and is mucus-causing. Not good for athletes, or men working outside in the heat. Not good for women in excess, however, calcium is good for the bones, so moderation is best. Not in a heatwave.

      Go swimming and have fun. That’s always a good idea.

      • AND this winter will be colder, snowier and worse than any winter since oh 1978!
        We are in the Billy Minimum and we will have wild temp swings for a while longer until it cools off.

        Both safe sights with Scientific Fact not FEELINGS!

      • @ Michael P.

        You know, the hardware stores sell 2″ thick white styrofoam sheets. What I did was buy some sheets, cut them to fit inside the window casement. Then I had my steel guru fabricate steel window cabinets inside, which lock by steel crossmember.

        Adds privacy, small arms bulletproofing, security, insulation, and soundproofing.
        Summer is a few degrees cooler inside. Winter will be warmer inside, and I doubled up on R-30 in attic. Spent some money on the upgrades, but planned for weather abnormalities pretty good I think.

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