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Unprecedented, record-shattering heat in the Pacific Northwest

Cities see temps never before reached -- including Seattle and Portland
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:21 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hot doesn’t even begin to describe the weather up in the Pacific Northwest. The current heatwave is nothing short of unprecedented, unheard of and jaw-dropping.

At least 15 all-time record highs fell on Sunday in Washington and Oregon.
At least 15 all-time record highs fell on Sunday in Washington and Oregon.(WSFA 12 News)

For perspective: The heat that is gripping Oregon, Washington and other adjacent areas is so intense that it would only be expected every several thousand years.

On Sunday alone there were at least 15 cities across Washington and Oregon that set not just daily record highs, but all-time record highs.

That includes major cities like Seattle (104°) and Portland (112°). This kind of heat just doesn’t happen up in that part of the country.

It’s not just a one day event either. The heatwave began late last week before ramping up over the weekend. It will continue today before letting up later this week.

Today will likely be the hottest day for most as more all-time records will certainly fall just 24 hours after being set. Seattle is expected to hit 107° today while Portland will soar to 114°.

Nearly all of Washington and Oregon is still under an Excessive Heat Warning. Much of Idaho and parts of California, Montana and Nevada are also under Excessive Heat Warnings or Heat Advisories.

Pasco, Washington, forecast shows extreme heat through the workweek.
Pasco, Washington, forecast shows extreme heat through the workweek.(WSFA 12 News)

The heatwave is particularly dangerous because many across Washington and Oregon don’t have access to adequate air conditioning. That has led to a very high risk of heat-related illness, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Not only that, but the infrastructure isn’t built for this kind of heat. One example of that is roads buckling and cracking.

The intense heat isn’t just confined to the United States. In the Canadian province of British Columbia, the village of Lytton reached a blistering temperature of 116°!

Canada and 116° simply don’t go together. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), that is the hottest temperature ever observed in Canada!

Lytton, Canada, set the country's all-time record high temperature on Sunday of 116 degrees.
Lytton, Canada, set the country's all-time record high temperature on Sunday of 116 degrees.(WSFA 12 News)

In a country known for cold weather and snow, a temperature of 116° doesn’t even seem possible.

It does get hot in parts of Canada, with 90s and even 100s not uncommon during the summer months. But this heatwave has taken “hot” to a whole new level for our neighbors to the north.

Fortunately, temperatures will cool off before the big Fourth of July holiday weekend for most of those being impacted by this scorching heat.

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