Warmer weather is finally here, and right on time for the first day of summer Tuesday.
Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-70s to low-80s throughout the week and level out in the 90s over the weekend and into Monday, before cooling Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Portland. Temperatures could reach 100 degrees Sunday, which is expected to be the hottest day, meteorologist Miles Higa said.
“That’s at the extreme end,” he said. “The majority of our models are showing 90s through the weekend before Monday and Tuesday bring colder mornings and milder afternoons.”
One year ago, Clark County was preparing for a heat wave that would later shatter records across the region. Temperatures topped out at 115 degrees June 28 at Pearson Field, breaking Vancouver’s all-time high of 108 degrees set in 2009.
While this heat wave isn’t expected to break records, it is still part of a larger heat dome impacting much of the United States. Other areas of the country are bracing for extremely high temperatures this week.
“We’re on the edge of some of that heat,” Higa said.
Unlike much of the country, the Pacific Northwest has had a long stretch of cooler-than-normal weather this month, and after months of heavy rain, many people are excited for some fun in the sun.
But some precautions should be taken when heading outside, especially for those who choose to go swimming, Higa said.
Due to heavy rainfall in June, river levels are higher than normal for this time of year, meaning currents will be more dangerous. The water is cold, too, with temperatures ranging between 45 and 55 degrees. Rivers running out of the Cascades could be even colder, Higa said.
“In the late summer, rivers are slow and warm, but right now, they’re running cold and fast,” he said.
For those who choose to go swimming at local rivers, Higa recommends always wearing a life jacket.
Swimmers will also need to be careful about local lakes. Clark County Public Health has closed the Vancouver Lake swim beach and issued a warning at Battle Ground Lake due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria in the water.
People can continue to fish at both lakes but should thoroughly clean and cook fish, and wash hands with soap and water, according to Public Health.
Once additional water samples show that conditions have changed, Public Health will update its advisories. Visit Public Health’s website for current advisory information at clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches.
Beyond swimming precautions, Higa said people should stay hydrated and be aware of their limits when it comes to the heat.
“The temperature has been below normal for a while, so this quick warmup might catch some people by surprise, especially if you’re working outside,” he said. “It’s not extreme heat, but it’s certainly more than we’ve been having.”
Additionally, people and pets should never be left in a parked vehicle when temperatures are warm, according to Public Health.
For more heat safety tips and resources, visit weather.gov/safety/heat.