PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sunday marked the 7th straight day of temperatures above 90 degrees in the Portland metro area, the second-longest such streak in the region’s recorded history.
Oregon state climatologist Larry O’Neill told KOIN 6 News July is shaping up to be one of the warmest on record. While this year’s heatwave hasn’t been quite as hot or deadly as the heat dome of 2021, it has been nearly twice as long.
“This year’s heat wave isn’t as intense as last year for the most part. But it is of course, much longer now. It’s about twice as long as the heat wave was last year,” O’Neill said.
This heat wave has not been as intense but he believes that’s not the only reason it’s been less deadly.
“Part of the reason we haven’t seen as many health impacts, too, is that there’s just more preparation for it. There are more cooling centers that were opened early, and more people got air conditioning,” he said. “People are starting to learn a routine during the day about drinking more water and not working outside. We have these workplace rules now for the heat index that the state implemented this year. And I think this actually made a difference.”
While the Excessive Heat Warning expires at 9 p.m. Sunday, O’Neill said we should continue to expect and prepare for more of these heat wave events in the future.