Be smart, stay safe in the water as temps warm up

Sunshine and temperatures as high as 90 degrees are heading our way

People cool off along the shore of Trillium Lake, file. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here comes the sun!

Sunshine and temperatures as high as 90 degrees are expected in the Portland metro in the next week, which means many of you will be heading out to the water.

But as we get ready for the heat — and as summer quickly approaches — officials want people to know it will still be a while before water temperatures warm up.

Experts say it all has to do with heavy snowpack this year.

Colder-than-usual temperatures and an extremely active winter kept the mountain snowy, but now that it’s getting warmer, that snowpack will melt into local waterways. Keep that in mind before you think about diving into the water on a hot day.

“Just because we have a hot spell, it hasn’t changed the environment in the water,” Lt. Marc Shrake with Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said. “This is not typical May, June, July weather when our temps are about 60 degrees. we are still closer to 50.”

If you plan on getting in the water sooner rather than later, Shrake suggests wearing a dry suit or half suit, and of course, don’t forget to wear a life jacket.

The water is also much higher, in some places covering former beaches, and the current stronger and full of more debris.

“With this swift water, a lot of the debris comes in and the river bed changes and there could be drops and sink holes that people aren’t aware of because of this unnatural events that we’ve been having here,” Shrake said.

For more information on staying safe in the water, click here.