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Potentially historic heat wave set to take place in the Pacific Northwest

Seattle has only hit 100° two times since 1945

Weekend heat wave in the Pacific Northwest

ROANOKE, Va. – In recent weeks, the heat has broken records in parts of the Western United States; however, it’s now the Pacific Northwest that’s getting in on a potentially historic heat wave. This is especially dangerous, as this is a part of the country where proper air conditioning is lacking.

Excessive Heat Watches and Warnings are in effect for the coming weekend into early next week for several parts of northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Excessive heat alerts as of Thursday, 6/24/2021

An extremely strong area of high pressure will be camped out near Washington and British Columbia. The stronger the high pressure is, the more the air sinks and heats up.

Why the heat wave in the PNW is forecast to happen

This is why places like Portland, Oregon could break an all-time record high temperature on Sunday.

Seattle’s records go back to 1945. In that time, the high temperature has hit 100° twice - once in 1994 and one other time in 2009. In fact, its average high temperature this time of year is in the 70s.

This kind of heat is more characteristic of late June in Las Vegas.

Potentially historic heat in Seattle, Washington Sunday and Monday

This also is bad news for areas already impacted by an extreme drought.

Drought monitor in the western U.S. as of Thursday, June 24th, 2021

The National Weather Service in Seattle is warning of heat-related complications, but also warning that water temperatures in area rivers are still in the 50s and 60s.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.