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What is a ‘heat dome’?

By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest is taking its toll in more ways than one.

Across the region — including Portland, Oregon, and Seattle — the high temps have resulted in a pause on some normal activities.

Portland reached 115 degrees on Monday afternoon, breaking Sunday’s all-time record of 112 degrees. The hottest three days in Portland’s history are Monday (115), Sunday (112), and Saturday (108).

Seattle, Washington, reached 107 degrees Monday afternoon, breaking Sunday’s all-time record of 104 degrees.

In some areas, outdoor pools are closed. In others, a lack of air conditioning has become problematic.

Here’s how the heat is impacting residents in these areas.

‘I’ve never seen it this hot’

In Washington, pictures on social media show some sidewalks and roads buckling, potentially due to the high temperatures.

“I’ve lived here most of my live and I’ve never seen it this hot,” Bart Treece, spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation, told CNN.

“The issue of pavement buckling is not something that is specific to the Seattle area and Washington State. It’s hard for us to be proactive because we don’t really know where it will happen.”

Treece said crews are working to repair any issues that come up in order to keep the roads in good condition.

Outdoor pools close in Portland

Portland has closed its outdoor pools due to deck temperatures — but splashpads and indoor pools are all available for use.

Local officials recommend residents take advantage of cooling centers and libraries. They also urge people to stay hydrated.

Relief may come in the form of a breeze off the coast as marine air moves south to north along the coast, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Power outages in Portland, lack of AC in Seattle

The Seattle’s mayor’s office told CNN “one of the most significant concerns about extreme heat in the Seattle area is the well reported-on lack of personal and commercial A/C in the City.”

“Seattle ranks as the least air-conditioned city among the top 15 metro areas. That makes it challenging for many residents to stay home,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

The record-breaking heat forced many Seattle restaurants to close temporarily, according to CNN affiliate KING5.

In Portland, power outages and issues due to the heat have kept the Portland streetcar closed, the Portland Bureau of Transportation told CNN. The department is “encouraging folks to stay home and stay cool.”

“We’ve also had intermittent power outages that have impacted a few of our traffic signals,” the bureau said.

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is also suspending regulations that prohibit the self-serve of gasoline at retail gasoline service stations for 48 hours so workers don’t have to be in the heat.

Experts say Pacific Northwest is not prepared for more frequent heat waves

Extreme heat is a pernicious example of the climate crisis, killing more people on average every year than any other weather-related event.

Climate change is making heat waves more intense and more frequent, according to scientists.

The Pacific Northwest is not prepared for more frequent heat waves, according to experts and researchers.

But by the middle of this century, the number of days that hit or exceed 90 degrees there is expected to increase from a current average of around six to 16, according to a study from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Angela Fritz, Taylor Ward and Brisa Colón contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN – Offbeat

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