Seattle and Portland set heat duration records during the heat wave

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SEATTLE — Seattle and Portland, Ore., set records Sunday for most consecutive days of high temperatures, and officials in Oregon have been investigating other heat-related deaths.

In Seattle, the temperature soared to 91 Fahrenheit (32.8 Celsius) in the early afternoon, the sixth consecutive record day the mercury exceeded 90 F (32.2 C). In Portland, Oregon on Sunday, temperatures exceeded 95 F (35 C) 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 it was investigating 10 deaths that may be heat-related. In the Portland area, temperatures have exceeded 100 F (37.8 C) several times over the past week.

Portland officials said they would keep cooling shelters open until Sunday evening.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Portland and Seattle, Washington areas through Sunday evening. Temperatures are expected to cool from Monday as colder Pacific air blows in.

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

Residents and officials in the North West have been trying to adjust to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves after last summer’s deadly ‘heat dome’ weather phenomenon brought record high temperatures and deaths.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia during this heat wave, which hit in late June and early July 2021. The temperature hit a record high of 116 F (46.7 C) in Portland.

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