May 16, 2023 - Climate

Portland's record-breaking heat wave continues

A photo of three people in intertubes along the Willamette River in Portland.

Tubers at Sellwood Riverfront Park during a heat wave in 2021. Photo: Maranie Staab/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Forecasters are predicting Portland will see more warm weather this week after several days of record-breaking heat.

Why it matters: The early heat wave that began Friday has seen temperature records broken from Washington and Oregon to Alberta. Canadian firefighters have been tackling dozens of wildfires for days, from British Columbia up to northern Canada.

What they're saying: The National Weather Service is forecasting "above-normal temperatures" to continue along the West Coast, with daily average temperatures ranging "15 to 25 degrees above normal through mid-week."

State of play: Several cities in Washington and Oregon either set or tied temperature records over the weekend.

  • Portland recorded its highest ever daily temperatures for May 13 (93 degrees) and May 14 (92 degrees).

Flashback: When a high-pressure weather system, also known as a heat dome, encapsulated the West Coast in July 2021, nearly 100 people in Oregon died, leading lawmakers to pass a bill requiring that all new housing developments built after 2024 include at least one room with air conditioning.

The bottom line: Numerous studies show climate change is leading to more intense heat waves that are more frequent and longer-lasting.


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