Scorching Summer Heat to Build in Seattle, Portland

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
July 12, 2014; 10:00 PM ET
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Heat-related dangers will be on the rise over the weekend for much of the Northwest as scorching heat settles in.

The sweltering air will target many cities through the new week.

A few of those cities include Seattle, Washington; Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Medford, Oregon; and Boise, Idaho.

According to Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark, "the high temperatures expected on Sunday are either some of the hottest of the year so far or are the hottest".

A ridge of high pressure will continue to build northward over the coming days, setting up a pattern for excessive heat across the Northwest.

High pressure promotes sinking air which compresses and warms. It also acts as a lid, locking in the heat below it.

The weekend will start what will be a lengthy period of extreme heat, known as a heat wave.

A weather disturbance will slice into the heat on Sunday, causing a couple of showers and thunderstorms to rumble across Oregon. From the Cascades eastward, there is concern for the thunderstorms to be dry and spark wildfires.

As the thermometers climb, so will the heat-related dangers. Folks are urged to take necessary steps in order to cope with the unusual heat.

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Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids will help keep your body cool and will prevent heat-related illnesses.

Before heading out, make sure to dress appropriately. Lightweight and light-colored clothing is the best as it reflects heat and sunlight.

Temperatures may rise quickly outside, but the inside of a vehicle can heat up much faster. Never leave children, disabled adults, or pets in parked vehicles. Make it a habit to check the back seat before you exit.

It is also important to regularly check on the elderly and your pets during hot times.

It's no secret that so far the month of July has been warmer than usual across the region with several cities running well above average in the temperature department.

Since the beginning of July, Seattle and Portland have had only one day with below average high temperatures.

July 1 actually set a daily record for high temperatures in Seattle, reaching 94 F. Records will again be challenged this weekend and next week as hotter air arrives.

Normal temperatures in Portland are around 80 for this time of the year. Temperatures will approach the middle to upper 90s through early in week.

The hot pattern will likely remain through much of the new week, extending the heat wave and the dangers associated with it.

According to Clark, most areas will not be able to escape the heat. "Even west of the Cascades, temperatures will spike, reaching the lower to middle 90s along the I-5 corridor. Only the coastal areas will still feel the marine influence."

While the West sizzles, the East will be the exact opposite. Much cooler air will dive into the Great Lakes and Northeast.


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