Heat Wave 2013 settles in on Portland

Shoppers look at fans and air conditioners in Portland, June 28, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Shoppers look at fans and air conditioners in Portland, June 28, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been 284 days since the temperature hit 90 in Portland, but that’s about to change.

KOIN 6 News Meteorologist Sally Showman said Friday will be the warmest day so far of 2013, with even warmer temps expected through Wednesday.

Ways to beat the heat (LIN Media, file)
Ways to beat the heat (LIN Media, file)

It will be so hot even the trains run slower. TriMet said riders should expect some MAX delays over the next few days because of the high heat. Temperatures in the 90s cause the power wire to sag and the rails to expand, so the trains have to stay at or below 25 mph.

Heat stroke and exhaustion are common in these continued high temperatures. Add in the higher humidity, and many people feel uncomfortable.

“Heat related illness leads to thousands of emergency room visits each year,” Dr. Stuart Currie of Tuality Healthcare told KOIN 6 News.

“The ambient temperature combined with the humidity is really what makes the difference. In 1995 they had a big heat wave in Chicago and many people died, but the temp only raised one or two degrees above 90, but the humidity was 90%,” he said.

Rashes, light-headedness and muscle cramps are all signs of a heat-related illness. Currie said if you feel unusually exhausted get to a cooler place immediately.

“The way to treat yourself initially is to get to the shade and get some fluids in you if you can.”

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