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Cities in Oregon break records for summer heat

Climatologists say at least a dozen Oregon cities experienced the hottest months of July and August on record.

PORTLAND, Ore. — At least a dozen Oregon cities experienced the hottest months of July and August on record, according to a state climatologist.

Oregon State Climatologist Larry O’Neill studied average weather temperatures and focused on communities with at least 50 years of consistent data, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

He found new average-temperature records in cities, among them Portland and Eugene in the Willamette Valley and Ontario and Burns in Eastern Oregon. Even Astoria on the Oregon Coast had its second warmest two-month period on record, he said.

“We’re just continuing this trend of every single summer seems to be setting temperature records,” said O’Neill, who is also an associate professor at Oregon State University.

O’Neill said average temperatures are rising because of unrelenting heat during the day without much cooling at night.

The average two-month temperature at Portland International Airport was 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius). That’s the highest that monitor has registered since at least 1938, he said.

Scientists say climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last several decades and will continue to make weather more extreme.

Residents of the Pacific Northwest have been trying to adjust to that reality following last summer’s deadly “heat dome” weather phenomenon that prompted record temperatures and deaths.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia during that heat wave, which hit in late June and early July 2021. The temperature hit an all-time high of 116 F (46.7 C) in Portland during that event.

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