Heat wave stretching the forecast to the triple-digits


Details for Wednesday, August 11, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The temperatures will be about 20 degrees above average the next three days, which means you’ll have to get some of your work finished early in the day.

That is what I would suggest when you’re getting up and at it on this Wednesday morning. When you leave the house, it may already feel a bit warm, but it shouldn’t be a major stress on your body yet. The heat will be flourishing through the afternoon and early evening hours. If we don’t top off at 100 degrees Wednesday, we sure will be close — and warmer to the south, with folks most likely getting that boost to 100.

The graphic below is a weather model that is giving us a general idea of the temperature trend into next week. We have near average temperatures closer to early next week after this surge of heat. Thursday is still expected to be the warmest day, with Friday right behind it.

There is no doubt that most of the state will be battling the heat, but you will find some cooler air out near the coast. Now is the time to take a day trip or potentially even a two to three day trip out to the Oregon coast. Temperatures will be about 30 degrees cooler (some beach spots). Plus there is nothing better than the cool air coming off the Pacific Ocean water on a summer day.

Courtesy: WeatherBELL

We are getting closer and closer to that building ridge of high pressure settling in right over the top of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). We are just about in the right spot for the warmest core of weather streaming from that area of high pressure. If only we could move that deep area of low pressure up in Canada back to the west to squeeze this summer heat out of here.

Notice that the top of the ridge is just south of Juneau on Wednesday. That will shift to the east on Thursday, allowing for temperatures to even pick up a few more degrees. A reminder that an Excessive Heat Warning goes into effect Wednesday until Saturday (temperatures 95-105).

Let me show you what the heat looks like if you were to take a slice out of the atmosphere (like the layers of a piece of cake). It almost looks like growing flames extending up into the atmosphere each afternoon. The second “flame”, which is the heat from the surface up to about 2,500 feet, is the forecast for Thursday.

You can tell there is just more heat and more strength as that axis of the ridge moves over the top of the PNW. It looks like we have some cooler air arriving on Sunday night into Monday based off the cross section below. This is just another way to visualize the heat that is going to be in place the next three to four days!

With that in mind, make sure you’re doing what you can to stay safe. Heat is extremely dangerous, we are highly aware of that from our previous heat wave experiences. We just want to remind folks so this forecast doesn’t come out of the blue for you. The best ways to beat the heat are to stay hydrated and to spend time indoors. The sun can tire you out and put you in a stressed state in a short period of time. If you don’t have air conditioning, make sure to visit the cooling centers or try to set up a backup plan to stay spend some time with friends or family that may have that source of cooling.

What about a mix of heat and wildfire smoke? It looks mostly limited in the forecast Wednesday around the Willamette Valley. We are watching a wildfire in Washington that may push smoke south into the Lower Columbia Basin and for areas of the Gorge and northern Willamette Valley on Wednesday. The dense smoke that would cause more air quality issues, is going to stay south or to the east. The wildfire forecast is fluid and we will be following the wind pattern through the coming days. Additionally the high pressure that is sitting over the top of us may help trap some of that wildfire smoke. Expect areas of Oregon to have diminished air quality near the end of the week.

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