PORTLAND, Ore. — So far this year, Oregon’s been able to sit back comfortably while most of the rest of the country endured oppressive heat. Now it’s our turn to sweat.
Temperatures soared into the triple digits across much of Western Oregon on Saturday, the hottest weather so far this year. Much of the state was under a heat advisory during a scorching afternoon.
Late-afternoon highs reached 106 in Medford, 102 in Portland and Salem, 101 in Eugene and 100 in The Dalles.
“We’ve been getting lots of sunshine and warming from area pressure causing the heat,” National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Spilde told the Medford Mail Tribune on Friday.
Forecasters said more hot weather was in store for Sunday, along with a chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. The National Weather Service warned that waterways would be crowded, and said many of the fatalities associated with hot weather in the Pacific Northwest occur in or around water.
In Portland, MAX light-rail trains ran 10 mph slower as a precaution.
Although the temperatures might feel excessive, it’s actually quite normal for this time of year, Clinton Rockey, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Portland, told the Statesman Journal.
“We should be a lot warmer than it has been,” he said. “One-hundred degrees isn’t unheard of. We’ve been up to 90 degrees once in Salem so far this summer, and usually we have five or six days.”
Officials recommended that people keep themselves hydrated — and not to forget the other living things that need their care.
Paul Ries, an urban forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry and a faculty member at Oregon State University, emphasized the importance of watering trees despite the recent pleasant weather.
“Here in the Willamette Valley, we’ve had extended nice weather, but it’s been an extended period without rain,” he said.
Watering lawns in hot and dry weather can be dangerous for a water supply, but watering trees is different than watering lawns, Ries said.
“Trees can get away without a steady water supply,” he said. “They take in water on a slower basis. So it’s best to give them water just from a water hose and keep a steady trickle for a couple hours rather than flood it.”