Portland, OR. Portland had its hottest day ever recorded – reaching 108F (42.2C) on Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. (The previous record was 107F, a mark hit in 1965 and 1981.
Leading up to the weekend of 6/25-6/27 and Monday 6/28, Multnomah County announced an “excessive heat warning,” anticipating temperatures reaching above 110 degrees.
Multnomah County opened three cooling centers in the Portland metropolitan area, which will be open for 24 hours throughout the duration of the heat warning period and will accept anyone inside who needs to cool off and escape the scorching temperatures.
The three cooling centers are:
Oregon Convention Center
Address: 960 NE 1st Ave.
Arbor Lodge Shelter
Address: 1952 N Lombard St.
Address: 18901 E Burnside St.
The Arbor Lodge Shelter was purchased in 2020 to be used as shelter during extreme weather events, offering community, services, and safety to homeless Portlanders. More information about the shelter can be located here.
The Sunrise Center is a community center located in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham that— outside of use as an extreme weather shelter— offers rental event space, a community kitchen, and workspaces. More information about the Sunrise Center can be found here, or by contacting them at (503) 847-9163.
In addition to 24-hour cooling centers, Multnomah county library branches will be open for those seeking air-conditioned respite from noon to 8 PM. Their locations can be found below:
- Capitol Hill Library: 10723 SW Capitol Hwy
- Gresham Library: 385 NW Miller Ave
- Kenton Library: 8226 N Denver Ave
- Holgate Library: 7905 SE Holgate Blvd
- Midland Library: 805 SE 122nd Ave
According to A Home For Everyone, a Portland nonprofit dedicated to supporting and housing solutions for the city’s homeless population, their JOHS supply center located at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd #600, Portland, OR 97214 will be open on Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM to distribute water and protective equipment to those in need.
Further, resources on the Multnomah County website offer a number of strategies for staying cool during the intense heatwave. Several recommendations include staying far more hydrated than one usually would be, avoiding alcoholic beverages, using fans for air circulation, and taking a cool shower or bath. For outdoor activity, high SPF sunscreen, hats, and staying in shade are advised, as well as a general notice to keep outdoor activity to morning and evening hours if possible.
County officials are particularly concerned for residents of high-rise apartment buildings lacking air conditioning, encouraging those in such circumstances to make a plan. During such weather events, it is important that Portland residents take care of each themselves and each other, whether that be checking in on the health of elderly neighbors, or inviting friends who may be at risk to air-conditioned indoor activities or swimming spots (a map of which can be found here.)
Just as it is crucial to look out for other humans, it is essential to watch over pets and animal friends. Multnomah County has released a guide to keeping pets safe during the heatwave here, including tips to keep them in cool indoor places, constantly hydrated with cold water, signs of heatstroke, and more.
Data from Meteorologist Ryan Maue that he posted to twitter indicates that the climate phenomenon Oregon is undergoing to experience such unseasonably high temperatures is that of a “heat dome.” The National Ocean Service (NOAA) characterizes a “heat dome” as a bubble of hot oceanic air trapped under the atmosphere like a lid, causing temperatures of the air to rise towards dangerous temperatures over the region it is trapped above. Thankfully, it is currently estimated that temperatures in the Portland area will decrease from the triple digits after Monday June 28th.