Records fall as 'life-threatening' heat wave blankets Northwest

By Jessica Storm, AccuWeather

June 26 (UPI) -- The Pacific Northwest braced Saturday for what is expected to be a historic and "life-threatening" heat wave, the likes of which -- in terms of high temperatures and duration -- has never been experienced before in that part of the country.

AccuWeather forecasters are calling for record-shattering heat to linger into next week, not only making life miserable for a part of the country where air conditioning is not prevalent but also posing a significant health risk to millions.


High temperatures well into the triple digits are forecast throughout parts of Oregon and Washington, which includes the Interstate 5 corridor. Both Portland, Ore., which could see the mercury crack the 110-degree mark, and Seattle, which is expected to top 100, will see temperatures soar 30 to 40 degrees above normal.

Points farther inland are likely to have temperatures balloon to above 115. Average highs in June can be anywhere from the 70s in eastern Washington and Oregon to the 80s in western areas and into Idaho.


The dangerous heat is forecast to peak from Saturday through Monday as high pressure settles in and enables temperatures to climb to new heights.

Even prior to the peak of the heat, Port Angeles, Wash., which sits on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula, rose to an all-time record high of 95 degrees on Friday. The city would normally experience a high of 64 on the date.

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"There are typically a few rounds of heat in the Pacific Northwest each summer, but this particular heat wave looks quite extreme," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson, who regularly analyzes weather patterns in the West.

Excessive heat watches and warnings, as well as red flag warnings for high fire risk, were plastered across the Northwest and across the United States and Canada border, issued by both the United States National Weather Service (NWS) offices and Environment Canada.

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Following highs well into the 90s on Friday, many locations will then top the 100-degree mark into next week, breaking daily and monthly record highs and even challenging all-time records at various locations.

Temperatures in Sunnyside, Wash., are expected to soar to an incredible reading of 118. The all-time state record high temperature for Washington is 118, most recently set at Burbank, Wash., near Sunnyside, about 220 miles southeast of Seattle, on Aug. 5, 1961.

The state of Oregon can also reach its own all-time record of 117. The all-time record high was set in Umatilla, Ore., on July 27, 1939.

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Members of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue, rake through ruins in Paradise, Calif. on Saturday. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

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