PORTLAND, Ore. – The temperature cooled down just a bit Sunday, topping out at 89 degrees and bringing an end to a heat wave that peaked with the hottest day Portland had seen in eight years.
Before Saturday and Sunday's "cool down," temperatures had reached at least 90 degrees for five consecutive days, topping out at 105 degrees on Thursday. A Heat Advisory issued by the National Weather Service expired Friday night.
Throughout much of the heat wave, the Rose City was also blanketed by smoke from wildfires in British Columbia. After some clearing, Portland's air quality was considered "good" with no safety warnings on Saturday, before downgrading slightly to moderate on Sunday and into Monday morning.
Portland's 105-degree high on Thursday easily broke the previous record for Aug. 3, which was 99 degrees. Thursday was the warmest day in Portland since 2009 and one of the 10 warmest in history.
Hillsboro (105), Vancouver (105), Troutdale (104), Salem (103) and Eugene (102) also set new record highs Thursday.
The temperatures could have been even warmer if it weren't for the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. The haze in Portland from those fires likely lowered the temperature by a couple of degrees.
The all-time heat record for Portland is 107 degrees, reached in 1942, 1965 and 1981.
Although the triple-digit temps have left the area for now, Portland will still see at least a handful of 90-degree days this summer.
Don't have air conditioning in your house? Experts offer advice on how to keep your home cool. If you have air conditioning, utility companies are asking that you keep the thermostat at 78 when you're home to save energy.
For expectant mothers, this kind of heat is extremely uncomfortable and can be dangerous.
Beat the heat: 20 tips and hacks for keeping cool
It's not just dogs and cats we need to pay closer attention to in the triple-digit heat, we also need to watch our urban farm animals like backyard chickens and goats.
The Oregon Health Authority offered the following tips for staying safe and healthy during extreme heat:
- Stay in air-conditioned places when temperatures are high, if possible.
- Limit exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest.
- Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening.
- Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate, especially during morning and evening hours, and close shades on west-facing windows during the afternoon hours.
- Use portable electric fans to remove hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and protect your skin from the sun.
- Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths.
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals; they add heat to the body.
- Never leave infants or children in a parked car. Nor should pets be left in parked cars--they can suffer heat-related illness, too.
- Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 when going outside.
- Regardless of your level of activity, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty, and especially when working outside.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
- Keep up-to-date on the temperature and heat index when planning your activities so you can find ways to stay cool and hydrated. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside when factoring in humidity with the actual air temperature.
- Learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat-related illnesses. Know the warning signs of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash, and how to treat and prevent them. More info from the CDC
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