May 12, 2023 - News

Weekend heat in Portland could break records

Illustration of a thermometer added to the Portland Oregon White Stag neon sign.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

A high-pressure ridge over the northern West Coast is forecast to bring temperatures in the lower 90s in Portland over the weekend and into next week.

Why it matters: If high temperatures reach 90 to 92 degrees in Portland over the weekend as forecast, it will be the warmest weather of the year so far.

  • If temperatures creep higher, Portland will break records; the city has only reached 95 degrees or above three times in May, and never earlier than May 17.
  • In 1983, it reached 100 degrees on May 28.

What they're saying: "This will be a three-day mini heat wave," Daniel Hartsock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, told Axios. "It won't be as intense next week."

Flashback: In July 2022, Portland broke another record when high temperatures hit 95 or above six days in a row.

  • In June 2021, a heat dome smothered the Pacific Northwest from Canada to Oregon, raising temperatures 30 degrees above normal and shattering previous highs, hitting 116 in Portland, 107 in Seattle and 121 in Lytton, British Columbia.

Of note: When weather is warm, Oregonians head to the nearest body of water for a bit of reprieve. However, rivers and streams remain cold and swift due to snowmelt.

  • Be sure to wear a life jacket if you plan to swim this weekend; even the most experienced swimmers can lose muscle control quickly in cold water.

What's next: Meteorologists are watching a developing weather system that could linger off the coast of Washington and Oregon on Monday and Tuesday, potentially bringing clouds and thunderstorms.


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