What is a heat dome?
A heat dome is a essentially a mountain of warm air built into a very wavy jet stream, with extreme undulations. ... In this case, a ridge of high pressure, which is the heat dome, has become lodged in the Pacific Northwest. It is acting as a block in the atmosphere, not allowing the weather to move. CBS NewsWhat is a heat dome? Extreme temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, explained
What caused heat wave Portland?
The heat wave was caused by what meteorologists described as a dome of high pressure over the Northwest and worsened by human-caused climate change, which is making such extreme weather events more likely and more intense. Associated PressNorthwest US faces hottest day of intense heat wave
Did Seattle break the heat record?
On Monday, Seattle broke a record for the highest temperature ever recorded by the National Weather Service there: 108 degrees. The previous high of 105 degrees had been set in July 2009. nytimes.comPacific Northwest Bakes in Record-Setting Heat Wave
What causes heat domes?
A heat dome occurs when the atmosphere traps hot ocean air like a lid or cap. ... This happens when strong, high-pressure atmospheric conditions combine with influences from La Niña, creating vast areas of sweltering heat that gets trapped under the high-pressure "dome." noaa.govNOAA: What is a heat dome?
“When will this be over?” was the question likely on every Portlander’s mind Monday as temperature records fell for a third-straight day.
The historic heat wave overwhelming the region led to all-time high temperatures records falling across the state over the weekend and on Monday.
Portland hit 116 degrees Monday afternoon, setting a new record high temperature for the third day in a row, according to the National Weather Service. Before the weekend, Portland’s record high temperature was 107, first set in 1965.
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service say some relief is in sight as the Portland area cools down somewhat Tuesday after three days of record highs, but temperatures in the region will still remain unseasonably high all week.
While the overnight lows this week will cool down the area slightly, highs are expected to still remain in the 90s or high 80s all week.
“We’re not seeing signs of truly cool weather at this point -- certainly not what we would typically see this kind of year, like upper 70s, low 80s,” said Tyler Krans, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Portland office. “We’re not seeing a date for truly normal temps through July 5.”
But the “extreme heat” that has consumed the region will likely end Tuesday, Kranz said. So even though the next seven days are forecasted to be much warmer than normal, “90s are better than 110 degrees.”
“Hopefully that can cheer some people up,” Kranz said.
For those without air conditioning, plan to open your windows at night but not until after midnight, Kranz said.
On Monday, winds from the east will mitigate the humidity later in the day. Then for the rest of the week, humidity will not be “oppressive,” Kranz said.
Here is a roundup of heat-related developments Monday:
Emergency services in Portland report seeing a spike in heat-related illnesses in the past 72 hours, said Robert McDonald, operations manager for American Medical Response, a private ambulance company which serves Multnomah and Clackamas County.
EMS saw a 24% increase in daily call volume compared to this time last year. There’s been a 120% increase in heat-related dispatches compared to last year, notably when temperatures were normal for the region and there was no heat wave.
There have not been any heat-related deaths, McDonald said.
EMS advises locals to stay hydrated at all times.
“If you are unable to find places to cool off, please utilize the county resources that have been provided, including calling 211 if you are concerned about you or anyone around you who may be suffering from heat related issues,” McDonald said.
At the Oregon Convention center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, dozens of people have sought refuge from the record-breaking heat. County officials said the shelter’s capacity is 300, but they won’t be turning anyone away this weekend. They’re also allowing pets.Savannah Eadens/The Oregonian
Three Portland cooling centers set up in response to the unprecedented heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest will remain open through 9 a.m. Wednesday, Multnomah County officials said.
The centers did not reach capacity during the weekend’s record-breaking temperatures of 108 degrees Saturday and 112 degrees Sunday. The centers are open 24 hours and provide food, water and a cot to sleep. Center locations are:
On-site coordinators Monday morning are preparing to add space for an additional 120 at the Convention Center for anyone seeking shelter from the heat.
Unlike during winter weather, when the shelters are solely focused on people experiencing homelessness, the cooling centers are part of a bigger countywide effort, so anyone who needs relief, regardless of housing status, can use them.
No one will be turned away, said Kate Yeiser, who works with the Multnomah County Joint Office for Homeless Services.
As of Monday morning, 370 people were at the three cooling centers.
“We saw an increase in heat-related illnesses over the weekend, so don’t wait to get to a cooling center,” Yeiser said.
While TriMet has suspended MAX lines due to the weather, buses are still running in Portland. TriMet said it will not turn away people who cannot afford a ride.
Check the county’s site for updates on services: multco.us/help-when-its-hot
Deputies have suspended the search for two men reported missing in separate incidents while swimming Saturday in the Willamette River.
Nasiruddin Shaik, 37, of Salem was last seen about 7 p.m. struggling in the water off a Marion County river bank near the Wheatland Ferry.
Police, firefighters and volunteers searched the waterway and river bank using boats and a helicopter until about 10 p.m., according to a news release from Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.
Separately, deputies rescued a woman in the water about 10:15 p.m. after they heard her screaming for help near the intersection of the Willamette and Yamhill rivers.
The woman said she and her boyfriend, Thomas Paul Stavrum, 51, had jumped from their boat to go swimming but he was missing in the water.
Deputies looked for Stavrum until just after midnight before suspending the search.
The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol and the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Water Rescue Team continued the searches Sunday and again Monday morning but were unsuccessful. As of Monday morning, Stavrum and Shaik had not been found.
Officials encourage anyone seeking relief in Oregon rivers from the from the record-breaking heat wave to always use flotation devices.
Through snow and unprecedented heat, the family-run Taqueria Villanueva 2 serves its customers.
Of the dozen or so food carts on Southwest Fourth Avenue near Portland State University, Maria Castro’s food cart was one of just two that opened its doors and turned on its stove on Portland’s hottest day in history.
She closed the cart Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday because of the weather, but reopened at 9 a.m. Monday, ready to feed.
“We decided to reopen the doors because lots of people are calling and calling that they want to eat,” she said.
However, they were ready to close for the day at 2 p.m. after a morning and afternoon with plenty of customers. That’s eight hours earlier than their usual closing time. Castro said restaurant work has made her used to hot kitchens, but this was unlike that. The food cart has air conditioning, she said, but the stoves and outdoor heat made the work difficult.
The weekend was the taqueria’s first time closing since the family opened the cart nine months ago, Castro said.
“The day that snow fell, we still opened,” she said. “Lots of people were calling us that they didn’t have food or anywhere to go. Thanks to God we were able to open and feed them too.”
Ebony Morris and five others were sitting in the shade with their backs pressed against a cool brick building Monday afternoon in Portland’s Old Town. Sweat covered Morris’ body as the heat continued to rise.
Over the weekend, she slept in her green tent with the door unzipped – something she typically doesn’t feel safe doing but she needed a breeze to help cool off her heat-trapped home.
“I felt sick and overheated,” she said. “I thought I was going to die and I just couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep and I was just covered in sweat.”
Last week, Multnomah County Health Officer Jennifer Vines described the weekend’s forecast as “life-threatening” and urged people with someplace cool and safe to stay to reach out to their more vulnerable neighbors – and many did just that.
As Morris talked on Monday about wishing someone would get control of climate change, a mother and daughter pulled over near her tent at Northwest Davis Street and Northwest Broadway to pass out sandwiches, chips and cold drinks.
“This is what has been happening since the weekend,” she said. “So many neighbors are stopping by to ask if we need help. Everyone is helping out.”
Morris and her friends had a small Styrofoam cooler filled with ice and water. All weekend, she said, neighbors and outreach workers passed out water and one person even dropped off cold watermelon. But what she is hoping for most are fully frozen water bottles which last longer in the heat.
“We are so appreciative of any water that people pass out but when it’s hot water we’re drinking, it doesn’t help us cool down,” she said. Other things that would be helpful are battery-powered fans, tarps for shade and washcloths to dip in water to cool off.
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Read full article at OregonLive
Thanks to climate change, heat waves and record temperatures in the Pacific Northwest may become commonplace
29 June, 2021 - 05:39pm
Seattle also set a record on Sunday, reaching 104 degrees in a city where many people don't have air conditioning, while the town of Lytton, British Columbia, reached 116 degrees.
Described as a “once in a millennium” weather event, the heat dome that has gripped the Pacific Northwest is notable because such extreme temperatures are a rarity in the region. But thanks to climate change, they may not be so unusual in the years to come.
“Climate change is clearly increasing the severity and frequency of unprecedented extreme heat events globally,” Daniel Swain, climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Yahoo News. “That’s also specifically true in individual regions.”
While the causes of the heat dome weather phenomenon are complex — a ridge of high pressure descended on the Pacific Northwest, offshore winds drew in unusually dry air to the region from the high desert, etc. — the climate conditions that precipitated it have been trending steadily in one direction.
“The mean warming in this region so far has been somewhere between 2 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit, so I think it’s fair to say that, at a minimum, climate change contributed at least that much to the severity of this heat wave," Swain said.
A growing consensus of climate scientists are pointing to what is unfolding across the drought-plagued West this spring and summer as an ominous sign of things to come.
“This is consistent with what is being observed and projected as our climate continues to change,” Erica Fleishman, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University, told the Oregonian newspaper. “It is becoming warmer during the summer and heat waves are more frequent, they are of greater magnitude and they are lasting longer.”
While Portland, Seattle and other cities have had to set up cooling centers for residents without air conditioning, the current heat wave has been so severe that it has buckled roads in parts of Washington.
A 2009 study conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that new record-setting high temperatures outpaced new record-low temperatures by a ratio of 2:1. Computer models have shown that that disparity will grow to 20:1 by 2050 and by 50:1 by 2100.
While a single temperature reading, or even a heat wave, is itself not indicative of climate change, the upward shift in temperatures is explained by the increase of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere every year since the start of the industrial age. Average global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and are fast approaching the 1.5-degree threshold beyond which most climate scientists warn that the harsh consequences of global warming will be unavoidable.
The increase in average temperatures, in turn, has been felt in a pattern of regularly occurring extreme weather events like the heat dome over the Pacific Northwest.
“The science has really advanced a lot in the last five to eight years. Scientists who even a decade ago were very uncomfortable with linking specific weather events to climate change now do so on a regular basis. That’s how science works — things change, things evolve,” Swain said, adding, “The signal is stronger now than it was a decade or two ago. The scientific tools we have to test those hypotheses have improved, the models are better.”
With evidence continuing to mount that humanity is fast approaching a tipping point, events like the latest heat wave are sounding what feels like never-ending alarm bells.
“If our decision makers do not take this heat wave as a harbinger of things to come and act quickly to adopt the climate change policies we all know are needed, I fear for the future of humanity,” Jean Flemma, director of Ocean Defense Initiative, told Axios.
Roads buckled and power cables melted, as record temperatures continued to be set or tied across the Pacific Northwest on Monday.Of note: Seattle surpassed its record set Sunday by 4°F when it hit 108°F Monday evening and Portland for the third consecutive day recorded an all-time high temperature record high, reaching 116°F. The Canadian town of Lytton set a new national record for the second straight day when it hit 118.2°F.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axi
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) -The cities of Portland and Salem in Oregon, and Seattle in Washington set new temperature records on Monday as the Pacific Northwest baked under a heatwave that has shut down much of daily life for residents. In Salem, Oregon's state capitol, temperatures reached 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius), the hottest since record-keeping began in the 1890s. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport set an all-time high temperature of 106 Fahrenheit, breaking the record set one day earlier.
A heat wave so extreme it stopped Olympians in their tracks, buckled roadways and brought public transportation to a standstill.
Seattle and Portland hit all-time high temperatures of 112 and 104 degrees, respectively, on Sunday.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization met again Monday with prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in a last bid to forestall a potential indictment stemming from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company. Trump Organization lawyer Ron Fischetti told The Associated Press the meeting came as a grand jury nears a vote on an indictment this week following a more than two-year investigation into Trump's business affairs.
The heat is being caused by a combination of a significant atmospheric blocking pattern on top of a human-caused climate changed world.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Tuesday she will use a donation from a Republican donor to fund a deployment of up to 50 South Dakota National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Noem joined a growing list of Republican governors promising to send law enforcement officers to Texas as the GOP ramps up a political fight with President Joe Biden over border security.
Temperatures soared on Sunday to an all-time high of 112 degrees Fahrenheit in Oregon's largest city as a record heat wave blistered the Pacific Northwest, sparking a run on ice and air-conditioners, while forcing many restaurants and bars to close. Multnomah County, encompassing the city of Portland, opened 11 emergency "cooling shelters", most of them in public libraries, where residents without air conditioning could escape the sweltering heat. "This is life-threatening heat," county health officer Jennifer Vines said in a statement.
After reaching an unprecedented peak, the ferocious heat wave in the Pacific Northwest is retreating inland on Tuesday, sparing some of the biggest cities, including Seattle, from another day of record-breaking heat. Why it matters: The worst heat wave on record in the Pacific Northwest has had a wide range of impacts, from damaging public transit infrastructure — rails failed and roads buckled — to public health issues. This event is not over, given the continued record high temperatures in are
Pacific Northwest temperatures are in the triple digits. Locals, take a photo of your thermostat and show us how hot it is in your home.
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Knowing the signs and symptoms of preventable heat-related illness can save your life.
The large banks are raining dividends on their shareholders after getting a clean bill of health from the Federal Reserve. And bank analysts say the windfall of capital returns is only just beginning.
Seattle, Portland and other cities broke records over the weekend and face even higher temperatures People use dry ice to cool water and Gatorade due to an ice shortage during an unprecedented heat wave in Portland. Photograph: Maranie Staab/Reuters Seattle, Portland and other cities in the Pacific north-west broke all-time heat records over the weekend, with temperatures soaring well above 100F (37.8C). But forecasters said Monday could be even worse, with the mercury possibly hitting 110F (43C
29 June, 2021 - 05:39pm
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The unprecedented Northwest U.S. heat wave that slammed Seattle and Portland, Ore., moved inland Tuesday — prompting an electrical utility in Spokane, Wash., to warn that people will face more rolling blackouts amid heavy power demand.
The intense weather that gave Seattle and Portland consecutive days of record high temperatures far exceeding 100 degrees was expected to ease in those cities. But inland Spokane was likely to surpass Monday's high temperature — a record-tying 105 Fahrenheit.
About 8,200 utility customers in parts of Spokane lost power on Monday and Avista Utilities warned that there will be more rolling blackouts on Tuesday in the city of about 220,000 people with the high temperature predicted at 110 F, which would be an all-time record.
Avista had planned for much higher than normal demand but hit its limit quicker than anticipated because of the intense heat, Heather Rosentrater, the company's senior vice president for energy delivery, said Monday night.
Temperatures in other eastern Washington and Oregon communities could reach about 115 degrees F Tuesday, a day after Seattle and Portland shattered all-time heat records.
Seattle hit 108 degrees Fahrenheit by Monday evening — well above Sunday’s all-time high of 104 F. Portland reached 116 F after hitting records of 108 F on Saturday and 112 F on Sunday.
The temperatures have been unheard of in a region better known for rain, and where June has historically been referred to as "Juneuary" for its cool drizzle. Seattle's average high temperature in June is around 70 F, and fewer than half of the city's residents have air conditioning, according to U.S. Census data.
The heat forced schools and businesses on Monday to close to protect workers and guests, including some places like outdoor pools and ice cream shops where people seek relief from the heat. COVID-19 testing sites and mobile vaccination units were out of service as well.
The Seattle Parks Department closed one indoor community pool after the air inside became too hot — leaving Stanlie James, who relocated from Arizona three weeks ago, to search for somewhere else to cool off. She doesn't have AC at her condo, she said.
"Part of the reason I moved here was not only to be near my daughter, but also to come in the summer to have relief from Arizona heat," James said. "And I seem to have brought it with me. So I’m not real thrilled."
The heat wave was caused by what meteorologists described as a dome of high pressure over the Northwest and worsened by human-caused climate change, which is making such extreme weather events more likely and more intense.
Zeke Hausfather, a scientist at the climate-data nonprofit Berkeley Earth, said the Pacific Northwest has warmed by about 3 degrees F in the past half-century.
That means a heat wave now is about 3 degrees warmer than it would have been before — and the difference between 111 degrees and 114 is significant, especially for vulnerable populations, he noted.
"In a world without climate change, this still would have been a really extreme heat wave," Hausfather said. "This is worse than the same event would have been 50 years ago, and notably so."
The blistering heat exposed a region with infrastructure not designed for it, hinting at the greater costs of climate change to come.
"We are not meant for this," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in an interview on MSNBC.
He added that "we have to tackle the source of this problem, which is climate change."
In Portland, light rail and street car service was suspended Monday as power cables melted and electricity demand spiked.
Heat-related expansion caused road pavement to buckle or pop loose in many areas, including a Seattle highway. Workers in tanker trucks hosed down drawbridges with water twice daily prevent the steel from expanding in the heat and interfering with their opening and closing mechanisms.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said in a statement that the Northwest heat illustrated an urgent need for the upcoming federal infrastructure package to promote clean energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect people from extreme heat.
"Washington state was not built for triple digit temperatures," she said.
29 June, 2021 - 05:39pm
29 June, 2021 - 05:39pm
29 June, 2021 - 06:42am
Behind the misery is a weather phenomenon known as a.
A heat dome is a essentially a mountain of warm air built into a very wavy jet stream, with extreme undulations. When the jet stream — a band of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere — becomes very wavy and elongated, pressure systems can pinch off and become stalled or stuck in places they typically would not be.
In this case, a ridge of high pressure, which is the heat dome, has become lodged in the Pacific Northwest. It is acting as a block in the atmosphere, not allowing the weather to move. The specific type of block is called an Omega block, because it looks like the greek letter Omega, and the hot air is pooling inside.
Areas of high pressure, like heat domes, have sinking air. This compresses the air on the ground and through compression it heats the air column. In addition, winds are moving downslope from the mountains downward into cities like Seattle and Portland; that downward motion causes heating as well.
These local effects combined with the background warming of climate change, which has warmed the Pacific Northwest by about 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times, adds intensity to an already strong heat wave.
The worst heat extends from British Columbia in Canada south into Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. The town of Lytton in British Columbia hit 116 degrees on Sunday, breaking Canada's all-time record high by 3 degrees.
Portland broke its all-time record Saturday, hitting 108 degrees, and then blew past it again Sunday with a 112-degree reading. Monday afternoon, the city reached an astonishing 115 degrees.
Seattle also set a new all-time record of 104 on Sunday and then beat it handily on Monday with a high of 108.
The heat will ease near coastal regions and in Seattle and Portland on Tuesday as temperatures drop back into the 90s. But thewill last all week in the interior portions of the Pacific Northwest.
"Unprecedented" does not do it justice. Statistically speaking, this would be ain a normal climate. But our climate is no longer normal: it is being heated by human-caused climate change. So these once nearly impossible heat waves will become not only possible, but more probable, in the coming years and decades.
There are two climate connections. The first is obvious: The atmosphere is simply warmer than it was 100 year ago and so heat waves are warmer than they used to be. But as you increase the average temperature by a few degrees, your extremes, like heat waves, becomeat a greater pace.
The second has to do with the wavy jet stream. There is lots of debate in climate science circles about this. Some scientists have found links between a warming climate and a more wavy jet stream, which can help to cause more extreme heat waves, more extreme storms and more extreme floods. This is because a wavy jet stream forces more warm air north and more cold air south, and it also slows down the forward pace of systems. This adds more instability in the atmosphere and more extreme impacts. While the science of the wavy jet stream makes logical sense, it is still being intensively studied for validation.
Jeff Berardelli is a meteorologist and climate specialist for CBS News.
Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.
28 June, 2021 - 05:45pm
But by Sunday, they couldn’t take it anymore.
He was also dizzy and confused, signs of heatstroke. So the couple headed to Sunrise Center, a community-center-turned-cooling-station open 24 hours through Tuesday.
Thousands around the city are grappling with a similar choices as the city grinds through a third day of record-breaking heat. Unfolding against the backdrop of human-caused climate change, which has raised average temperatures in the Northwest by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, the extraordinary heat wave set more than a dozen all-time records over the weekend: 112 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland, 115 in The Dalles, a small city on the Columbia River, 104 in Seattle — which had never before seen three days in a row over 100 degrees.
But many of those records had to be promptly revised Monday as the sprawling high-pressure system at the center of the heat wave intensified.
By midafternoon the mercury spiked to 116 in Portland, 108 in Seattle and 117 in Salem, Ore.
In an indication of the heat wave’s exceptional nature, the temperature in Oregon’s capital was the same as the all-time record for Las Vegas.
North of the border, a weather station in Lytton, British Columbia, notched the highest temperature in Canada’s recorded history: 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meteorologists estimated that a heat dome of this size and scope is so rare it should be expected only once every several thousand years.
But human-caused warming makes extremes like this more common, scientists say. Unless people drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, this heat wave doesn’t represent a “new normal” but rather a worrying taste of the effects to come.
For now, not even nighttime brings relief. Temperatures linger in the high 90s well after sunset. This is also characteristic of human-caused climate change, which is heating up even faster than days. It also poses some of the greatest risks to human health: hot nights give the body no chance to recover from extreme temperatures, pushing people into heatstroke.
A spokesperson for Seattle and King County Public Health said the agency recorded 41 heat-related visits to emergency departments on Saturday and 91 on Sunday; the county’s previous daily high was nine. Patients were suffered symptoms ranging from vomiting and dizziness to syncope, a temporary loss of consciousness caused by falling blood pressure as people’s bodies are depleted of water.
Between Friday and Sunday, Multnomah County — which includes Portland — recorded 97 emergency department and urgent-care clinic visits for heat illness.
That is an order of magnitude more than the number of visits the county usually sees in a weekend, said spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, and it represents almost half the number of visits the county usually records in an entire summer.
The average number of heat-related emergency visits for a four day period, said spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, is one. She said roughly 1,000 people came to the county’s three main cooling centers Sunday and Monday, and nearly a quarter of the county’s workforce was enlisted in the heat response. Hundreds of people fanned out across the region to distribute water, electrolytes and information to those who were homeless or struggling to stay cool.
Gov. Kate Brown (D) also lifted coronavirus capacity limits on movie theaters, pools and malls to make sure people could congregate in places with air conditioning.
A spokesman for Oregon Health & Science University, the largest hospital in Portland, said the emergency department had seen a small uptick in heat-related illness this weekend.
Meteorologists grasped for adjectives to capture the ferocity and scope of the heat wave: “incredible,” “eye-popping,” “historic,” “insane.”
“As there is no previous occurrence of the event we’re experiencing in the local climatological record, it’s somewhat disconcerting to have no analogy to work with,” the National Weather Service’s Seattle office wrote in an area forecast discussion. “Temperature records will fall in impressive fashion.”
In some cases, pictures were more effective than words.
After canceling its service Sunday, Portland’s streetcar system tweeted an image of a melted and frayed power cable on one of its cars; “Here’s what the heat is doing,” the transit agency said.
Transportation agencies across the region shared photographs of broken and buckled roads — signs of heat so intense it melted asphalt.
At Mount Shasta, not far from the Oregon-California border, a live camera recorded as a lightning-sparked fire swiftly doubled in size amid triple-digit temperatures and perilously low humidity.
And in a photo taken by KOIN news meteorologist Kelley Bayern, Portland’s record temperatures proved just enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk. Perched atop an open-face avocado sandwich, the egg looked good enough to eat. But Bayern abstained.
Sandra Fairbank lives in a tent encampment about 15 minutes from Sunrise Center, near the airport. She has tried to persuade her neighbors to come to Sunrise to cool off, but she’s having trouble.
In May, the mayor approved a measure allowing officials to clear out any areas with eight or more tents.
“People aren’t handling the heat,” Fairbank said. “But they can’t leave their stuff. They’re afraid of it getting taken. It’s terrible.”
Portland’s Joint Offices of Homeless Services have moved thousands of cases of water bottles out to community groups able to drive them to dozens of areas where the more than 14,000 unhoused in Portland live.
According to the city’s communications coordinator Denis Theriault, who visited the distribution center Sunday, they’ve worked with more than 50 organizations to get that water out to the homeless. They employed a similar mass-distribution strategy during last fall’s wildfires, which left the city in a smoky haze for weeks, and when freezing temperatures and ice hit Portland in February.
But this week’s weather is a first-of-its-kind emergency to respond to.
“This is the first time we’ve had this kind of heat and had to open for this,” Theriault said. “Even if things were open all the way,” he says of coronavirus restrictions and closures, “this is one of those heat waves where we would still need to be doing something like this.”
Back at Sunrise Center, the Stoughtons drank lots of water and played Uno to pass the time.
Kim Stoughton grew up in Portland. “In my whole life I have never seen anything like this before. I don’t understand how these homeless people can live in this,” Kim said.
He says he and Kathy will be fine, “as long as we have a roof over our heads.”