Pacific Northwest sees record temperatures
Parts of the US Pacific Northwest have been hit by a sweltering heatwave, with temperatures in Portland, Oregon, at a record 108F (42C) on Saturday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued excessive heat warnings and watches across nearly all of Washington and Oregon state. Parts of California and Idaho are also affected.
Multnomah county, in Oregon, has warned of “life-threatening” heat.
Many cities have opened cooling centres for people to take shelter.
Shops have sold out of portable air conditioners and fans and a number of Covid vaccination drives have been cancelled.
NWS said that even hotter temperatures are forecast on Sunday and Monday throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern Great Basin.
It warned of “several more days of dangerous heat across the northwest corner of the country as well as parts of western Nevada and California“.
Temperatures are expected to soar 20 – 30F above average in Washington and Oregon states.
Seattle and Portland are expected to break their current all-time high temperature records on both Sunday and Monday.
On Saturday, temperatures in Seattle reached 101F (38.3C) making it the hottest June day there on record.
“Residents are urged to avoid extended periods of time outdoors, stay hydrated and check on vulnerable family members/neighbours,” NWS said.
Many people in the area are more accustomed to mild weather and do not have air conditioning.
Oregon’s health authority has removed Covid capacity limits at large venues with air conditioning such as cinemas and shopping malls in order for people to take shelter from the heat.
Washington state has removed capacity restrictions at its cooling centres, which are public facilities where people can go to during extreme heat.