An “unprecedented heat event” is taking place all across the country this weekend, impacting areas of the Pacific Northwest where temperatures are expected to not just shatter, but set new records from British Columbia to Northern California.
In the Pacific Northwest, the infrastructure simply isn’t equipped to stand the extreme triple-digit temperatures that have meteorologists scrambling for enough synonyms for “hot”. In Portland, Oregon, where the predicted temperature has now skyrocketed to an unfathomable 115 degrees for Sunday, weatherman Mark Nelsen told his viewers, “I never thought I would ever see temperatures like this in Portland in my lifetime.”
Elsewhere in the West, the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center (WPC) announced that California’s Death Valley had reached a scorching 128 degrees Fahrenheit. The desert valley has long been the record-holder for the highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth – 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in 1913, and just last year the agency reported a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, which the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said at the time would be the third-hottest temperature ever recorded if verified after a months-long analysis.
Monday's forecast highs in the Pacific Northwest:
Seattle: 104, all-time record
Portland: 109, all-time record
Spokane: 110, all-time record
Oregon State Climatologist: "Even though we’ve had heat waves in June, they haven’t been nearly as strong…"https://t.co/DGJGllkJjb
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) June 25, 2021
Las Vegas was predicted to hit a scorching 114 degrees on Friday, three degrees shy of its all-time record.
National High for June 17, 2021…128F at Death Valley, CA…highest for 2021. National Low…25F at Stanley, ID pic.twitter.com/sCUydaH0na
— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) June 18, 2021
Meteorologists have referred to the phenomenon over the Pacific Northwest as an “unfathomable temperature anomaly” or a “heat bubble”, an event never seen before.
The 'extreme forecast index' from @ecmwf tells us that this level of heat has never happened in their dataset.
The level of heat is off-the-scale. pic.twitter.com/eHjEgIiuOv
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) June 25, 2021
If we’ve learned anything from disaster movies, it’s that the problems always start when the politicians ignored the scientists.
An unfathomable temperature anomaly: approaching 25°C above normal for B.C. – huge red flag to have anomaly greater than average temperature. An equivalent negative anomaly would see highs near freezing. #BCHeat pic.twitter.com/taFwjy6mHh
— Tyler Hamilton (@50ShadesofVan) June 24, 2021
People living in the impacted areas have been warned to stay indoors and keep cool as much as possible. In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee removed COVID-related capacity limits for local cooling centers to accommodate those seeking relief as the state inches ever closer to fully reopening on June 30th.
Almost no one in the Pacific Northwest has central A/C. When I moved into my apt I had to buy 2 floor A/C units because my windows open sideways (1 downstairs, 1 up in my room). They’re ugly AF, but they get the job done well enough so I won’t cook inside my own home #PDXHeatwave pic.twitter.com/5y9RBA99QM
— T👻r👻 D🐈⬛bl💀n 🎃🧙🏻♀️ (@taradublinrocks) June 25, 2021
California Governor Gavin Newsom, concerned about the increased strain on the electrical grid, ordered a State of Emergency last week ahead of the brutal temperatures and cautioned residents to use their air-conditioners as sparingly as they could manage.
🥵🌡️ A dangerous heatwave is impacting the Pacific Northwest and into southern California. More than ONE HUNDRED record high temperatures are forecast this weekend through Thursday.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) June 25, 2021