Pacific Northwest Braces For Another Heat Wave
Less than two months after extreme heat was linked to the deaths of nearly 100 people and broke records in the Pacific Northwest, the region was once again bracing for dangerous heatwave conditions on Wednesday.
In Seattle, which will be subject to an excessive heat warning from Wednesday at noon until Saturday night, authorities were opening cooling stations, putting crews on standby to deal with blazing roads and preparing to spray bridges with water. cold water to avoid malfunctions.
By Friday, temperatures in Seattle are expected to reach the mid-1990s, according to the National Weather Service. While these forecast highs are lower than the record heat of late June, when temperatures hit 108 degrees, they are still well above normal highs from August through the mid-1970s.
“This heat wave is not as hot as the one in late June,” the weather service said in a forecast. “However, that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down, as temperatures in the 90s to near 100 are still significant for our region and potentially record high. The impacts will be greater on our most vulnerable populations.
The weather service urged residents to hydrate, stay out of the sun and, where possible, postpone strenuous activities until the early hours of the morning or evening.
The Seattle heat alert comes as more than 150 million people across the United States face similar alerts and warnings, with above-normal temperatures expected in the Great Lakes, the plains, the central Atlantic and the northeast. New York City will face an excessive heat warning on Thursday as values for the Heat Index, a measure of how much humidity is felt outside, is expected to hit 100.
In Portland, Ore., Where temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees Thursday and Friday, Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency to use public buildings as cooling centers and prepare other resources to deal with the heat.
“This emergency declaration highlights the reality that climate change is hitting closer to home and causing significant damage to the Portlanders,” Wheeler said in a statement Tuesday. “The time to take the climate crisis seriously was years ago. These episodes of extreme heat demand everyone’s attention and immediate action.
In Seattle, where many residents do not have air conditioning in their homes, city officials were working to ensure cooling stations open this week at libraries, recreation centers and other city facilities. Mayor Jenny A. Durkan’s office said in a statement.
Seattle was also bracing for possible impacts on the city’s infrastructure, including electrical systems, water supply systems, roads and bridges, the mayor’s office said. Teams from the city’s Department of Transportation will be on standby in case rising temperatures cause pavement expansion and deformation of roads, which happened in the Pacific Northwest during the heat wave. end of June.
Ms Durkan’s office also said that as of Wednesday, the city plans to spray the bridges with water to prevent any moving steel parts from expanding and getting stuck.
“Travelers should plan for brief closures of a similar length to normal drawbridge openings,” the mayor’s office said.
The Seattle Department of Transportation plans to continue spraying bridges until temperatures drop below 85 degrees.
In addition to the heat wave, officials in Seattle said they were monitoring air quality levels this week, as California wildfires send giant clouds of smoke up to Denver, over 1,000 miles away.
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