Extended heat wave to stick to region

Consecutive days of high humidity, temperatures in 90s in local forecast

By Eric Florip, Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter

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An extended heat wave starting Saturday is expected to bring a run of several consecutive 90-degree days to the region, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Forecasters aren’t betting on any triple-digit temperatures just yet, but a few days may come close.

In Vancouver this weekend, cloud cover and possible thunderstorms will keep things slightly cooler than next week, but temperatures should still peak in the lower 90s, according to the weather service. The heat will crank up a few more degrees Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said.

What’s more, humid conditions and warm nights could make things even more uncomfortable.

“It’s going to feel hotter than it really is,” said Steve Pierce, owner of Northwest Weather Consultants. “It’s going to feel sticky. It’s going to feel muggy.”

The heat wave isn’t likely to break any Vancouver single-day records, which are all above 100 degrees during the next week, said Jerry Macke, a meteorological technician with the weather service. But the heat will be noteworthy for its duration, Pierce said.

The region could see as many as six or seven consecutive days with highs above 90 degrees before a cool-down arrives at the end of next week. The run of hot weather could be the longest since 2009, Pierce said, when Vancouver strung together 10 such days in a row. (That stretch also included Vancouver’s hottest day ever recorded: 108 degrees on July 29, 2009.)

The coming week won’t come close to that. But it was enough for the weather service to issue a heat advisory from Saturday through at least Tuesday. The advisory covers a large portion of Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, including all of Clark County.

The heat also prompted the state Department of Natural Resources on Friday to expand its burn ban on DNR-protected lands into Western Washington. Hot and dry conditions will increase the potential for wildfires on both sides of the Cascade Mountains, according to the agency.

As of Friday, there had already been 256 fires on DNR-protected lands this season, most of those human-caused, according to the agency.

Hot weather and low winds may cause smog conditions and deteriorating air quality in the Portland-Vancouver area by next week, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Several facilities around Clark County are offering respite from the heat next week. Any Fort Vancouver Regional Library District branch is air-conditioned and open varying hours. The city’s Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, is another air-conditioned place with free activities for any age, according to the city.

Vancouver’s Firstenburg and Marshall community centers are also open, but only the Marshall facility is fully air-conditioned.

The Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., is inviting residents to hang out in the air-conditioned space from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

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