PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — We could see a record stretch of 90 degree temperatures or above with the extended forecast.
We are currently at five days with 90+ degrees and with the current forecast we could beat the record of 10 days with 11 days. The weekend looks to drop to the lower 90s. That is not much of a cool down, but any relief will be appreciated.
The Excessive Heat Warning has been downgraded to a Heat Advisory for the Willamette Valley through Friday night.
The Heat Advisory for eastern Oregon through Friday evening continues.
Portland General Electric said Portland customers have set a new record for summer energy use this week with 3,976 megawatts on August 3 at 6 p.m., when it was 105 degrees. PGE said 70% of homes in the area have air conditioning, more than in past years.
The all time record of 4,073 megawatts was set in winter on December 21, 1998 when it was 16 degrees.
The Air Quality Alert remains has been extended through Tuesday evening for unhealthy air levels.
Matthew Van Sickle with the DEQ said several factors are created the “perfect storm” for bad air quality.
Bad ozone forms near ground level when pollutants have a chemical reaction with sunlight and heat.
“You know we’ve all heard about ozone,” Van Sickle said. “It’s great stuff up there in the sky. It protects us from ultraviolet rays, but it’s bad when it’s down here on the ground.”
The bad ozone and smoke from wildfires combine to make a the air we breath unhealthy.
Based on the wind patterns, the DEQ hopes the smoke will start clearing out Friday, but it could come back over the weekend and next week.
“What we have to do is learn to live with that in our region” Van Sickle said. “And the best way we can do that is adapt our activities around the smoke and pollution by limiting our driving, if we’re sensitive to air quality issues then staying indoors.”
Portland Parks and Recreation closed outdoor pools and cancelled activities on Friday, and Portland Public Schools is following suit. Officials are making sure all summer sports practices end early. Right now and potentially into next week, all outdoor sports and activities will stop at noon and all turf fields are closed until further notice.
“Because of the heat and air quality they just want the safety of the athletes to come first,” PPS spokesperson Dave Northfield said.
The outdoor pools are scheduled to reopen Saturday, but that could change if the air quality doesn’t improve.
“Heat we can kind of deal with for the most part but with the air quality as bad as it’s been, we had to close our outdoors pools temporarily because of the air quality and that’s for the first time ever,” Mark Ross with Portland Parks and Recreation said. “We’re plugging along in real time, making these decisions and following the whims of Mother Nature.”
The coast will stay cool on Friday, with temperatures in the 60s and lower 70s. So, if you are looking for relief, head there.
Another issue caused by extreme heat is what tree experts call “summer limb drop.” The phenomenon affects perfectly healthy trees, which crack and split.
A big limb on a silver maple snapped and dropped onto a car on SE 27th Avenue Friday morning, breaking the back window.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” neighbor Kenny Asher said when he saw the tree down across the street.
Certified arborist Dustin Marchello with Wind Thin Tree Services said they’ve been dealing with a lot of limb drop in the past few weeks. He said limbs falling typically happens with mature trees and branches outside the canopy.
“Hot dry times, that’s when we typically see it,” Marchello said.
He thinks when it gets hot, the trees go into moisture preservation mode.
“The plant is like nope, we’re shutting that down,” Marchello said. “We gotta save water and all of a sudden pressure builds up and then pop.”