Heat wave sets records in Seattle and Portland

The International Fountain at Seattle Center is packed with children as they run from the water that is showering on them Wednesday, July 27, 2022 in Seattle. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP)
Children run through the waters of the International Fountain at Seattle Center on Wednesday. (Ellen M. Banner / Seattle Times)

Seattle and Portland, Ore., set records Sunday for most consecutive days of high temperatures as authorities in Oregon investigated more possible heat-related deaths.

In Seattle, the temperature rose to 91 degrees by early afternoon, a record sixth straight day above 90. In Portland, temperatures Sunday rose above 95 degrees for the seventh day in a row, a record for the city for consecutive days above that mark.

In Oregon, the state Medical Examiner's Office said Sunday that it was investigating 10 deaths as possibly heat-related. In the Portland area, temperatures have risen above 100 degrees several times over the last week.

Officials in Portland said they would keep cooling shelters open through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for both the Portland and Seattle regions lasting through late Sunday evening. Temperatures were expected to cool beginning Monday as colder air from the Pacific blows in.

Climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, a region where weeklong heat spells were historically rare, according to climate experts.

Residents and officials in the Northwest have been trying to adjust to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves following last summer’s deadly “heat dome” weather phenomenon that prompted record temperatures and deaths.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and Canada's British Columbia during that heat wave, which hit in late June and early July 2021. The temperature hit an all-time high of 116 degrees in Portland.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.