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News / Clark County News

90-degree temperatures may be headed to county this weekend

By Eric Florip, Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter
Published: June 5, 2015, 12:00am

It’s not quite a heat wave, but a decent warmup this weekend will bring Clark County its highest temperatures of 2015 so far.

Afternoon highs could crack 90 degrees for the first time this year, according to the National Weather Service.

The heat won’t be record-setting. In Vancouver, for example, it would take nearly triple-digit temperatures to match or beat all-time highs for June 6 and 7. (The record for both days is 98 degrees, according to the weather service.)

With summer-like temperatures arriving just in time for the weekend, many people are likely to head for water to cool off. Emergency management officials took the opportunity to remind those seeking relief to be safe.

Even on hot days, most rivers and lakes in Southwest Washington remain cold, according to the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, and that cold water can cause body temperatures to fall to dangerously low levels. Any swimmers this weekend should know the water, and know their limits, according to CRESA.

This year also presents unusual early-season conditions in Northwest waterways, said Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the weather service in Portland. That’s because drought conditions have rivers and streams flowing lower than normal in many places. Low water can expose hazards that aren’t normally there this time of year, Bryant said.

What’s more, getting in the water for the first time in months can be an adjustment, Bryant said.

“People don’t necessarily have the mindset for taking the precautions that they would in August,” he said.

Public agencies in both Washington and Oregon also have emphasized boating safety recently. In 2014, there were 22 recreational boating fatalities in Washington, according to state figures — an increase from 2013, when there were 17. But those numbers tend to fluctuate from year to year, officials say.

Not planning to get wet this weekend? The weather service also urges people to remember other common-sense steps such as staying hydrated and not leaving children or animals in vehicles, Bryant said.

High temperatures could land in the high 80s or low 90s in Clark County both Saturday and Sunday, with Sunday looking like the slightly warmer day, according to the weather service. The pattern is expected to linger into early next week.

“Monday will still be close to 90, then we gradually cool off,” Bryant said.

Temperatures should dip back into the low 70s — close to normal for this time of year — by the end of next week, according to the weather service.

Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter