A record high temperature was recorded in the US Pacific Northwest on Saturday.
Portland, Oregon’s largest city, officially recorded 42.2 °C and set an all-time record. It was one of at least eight cities in the states of Washington and Oregon to surpass or tie the old record high temperature.
The far north, Seattle, Washington, hit 37.8 Celsius on Saturday, the hottest June day on record and only the fourth time temperatures have climbed that high in Seattle’s recorded history.
This is a potentially dangerous situation for an area where many people live without air conditioning because they rarely need it.
Temperatures are likely to remain much above normal on Sunday as well. This trend is expected to continue till next week.
In the states of Washington and Oregon, officials have lifted COVID-19 capacity restrictions on cooling centers, pools, movie theaters and shopping malls.
In Portland, the Oregon Convention Center is open as a cooling center. It can seat about 300 people, but Peter Tiso, who works with the United Office of Homeless Services for Multnomah County, pointed out The Oregonian/OregonLive.com That no one, including pets, will be turned away.
Many stores have sold all their air conditioners and fans.
“We know from evidence around the world that climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves,” Christie Abbey, a University of Washington professor who studies global warming, told the Associated Press. “We have to get used to it going forward.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.