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Dangerous Pacific Northwest heat wave suspected in 6th death

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Authorities in the Portland, Oregon region said they might keep cooling shelters open through Sunday night as a likely record-breaking heat wave brought scorching weather to the normally temperate region.

At the very least six folks are suspected to possess died from hyperthermia because the hot spell began yesterday. The newest suspected heat-related death was announced by Clackamas County officials on Saturday, Portland television station KOIN-TV reported. County officials said older people man died in his home, where he didn’t have an operating air conditioner. Another five suspected hyperthermia deaths occurred earlier in the week in Multnomah, Umatilla and Marion counties.

Jessica Mokert-Shibley, a spokesperson with Multnomah County, said the county, the town of Portland along with other organizations would keep overnight cooling centers open through Sunday evening. Nearly 250 people used the overnight shelters on Friday night, she said.

Temperatures have neared the triple digits in Portland the complete week, hitting a higher of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 Celsius) on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for both Portland and Seattle, Washington, regions lasting through late Sunday evening, with temperatures likely to reach as high as 103 degrees (39 C). Shawn Weagle, a NWS meteorologist located in Portland, said Saturday that the spot had likely tied its record because of its longest heat wave with six consecutive days in a row topping 95 degrees (35 C). A fresh record could possibly be set on Sunday, Weagle said.

The temperatures have remained abnormally high during the night only dropping to about 70 degrees (21 C) rendering it hard for residents to adequately cool-down their homes prior to the sun rises, Weagle said. Many homes in your community lack air-con.

Its an extremely common issue with this heatwaves, having less recovery during the night, Weagle said. That basically impacts individuals who dont have air-con. Its the urban island effect the downtown Portland core has been developed so much, and that concrete is slower to cool off overnight when compared to a rural valley as well as suburban neighborhood would.

The regions heat waves also appear to be getting stronger generally, Weagle said. He expects rest from the warm weather should come mid-week.

At this time its looking like Tuesday, well begin to get nearer to normal but nonetheless in the 80s, and by Wednesday we have to be considered a touch below normal temperatures, he said.

The Seattle region was slightly cooler but nonetheless topped 90 degrees (32 C) on Saturday for a fifth straight day, in comparison to normal temperatures in the high 70s.

Weagle said people ought to drink a lot of water, do what they are able to to remain cool and check up on their neighbors, particularly the elderly and those that are at greater threat of heat-related illnesses.

Climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, an area where weeklong heat spells were historically rare, in accordance with climate experts.

Residents and officials in the Northwest have already been trying to adapt to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves following last summers deadly heat dome weather phenomenon that prompted record temperatures and deaths.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia throughout that heat wave, which hit in late June and early July. The temperature at that time soared to an all-time most of 116 F (46.7 C) in Portland and smashed heat records in cities and towns over the region. A lot of those who died were older and lived alone.

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