‘Heat dome’ hits western states, bringing record-breaking temps to Washington and Oregon

A thermometer reads 113 degrees Fahrenheit during a heat wave in Portland, Oregon, U.S. June 27, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Maranie Staab

Portland, Oregon feels like the Mojave Desert today, with an expected high of 114 degrees Fahrenheit. The city set a record on Sunday at 112 degrees. The heat melted power cables on Portland’s street cars, shutting down the public transit system. To help residents avoid life-threatening heat exposure, officials lifted capacity limits at malls, movie theaters, and pools. 

The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for other western states, including Idaho, Washington, and parts of California, Montana, and Nevada. What role does climate change play in this intense heat wave?  

Credits

Guest:

  • Erica Fleishman - director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute