M:The Pacific Northwest is under a heat advisory this weekend, and temperatures are expected to continue to soar during an unusual heat wave for this time of year, just a short distance from wildfires raging across western Canada.
The National Weather Service (NWS) placed western Oregon, Washington County and parts of California under a heat advisory Saturday afternoon, and will end late Sunday or Monday evening. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit. Temperature readings could possibly set records for this time of year, with the forecast forecast to be 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
The insane heat may have sparked dozens of fires burning in the Canadian province of Alberta, which is currently under a state of emergency. About 30,000 people have been forced to evacuate Alberta in the past week and a half.
The weather phenomenon that causes a heat wave is known as a “heat dome,” which occurs when the atmosphere draws in warm ocean air and clear skies and high pressure trap the heat in that area.
The Northwest region endured a dangerous heat dome in 2021 that killed hundreds of people. The 2021 heat dome has also affected marine life, reduced crop yields, increased flooding, affected melting of glaciers, exacerbated wildfires and contributed to landslides, according to the scientific journal Nature. There have been few heatwaves this extreme in the last century.
Rising temperatures and greater intensity of heat waves are associated with human-induced climate change, prompting Northwest residents who have traditionally lived in temperate climates to pursue climate adaptation strategies.
The NWS advises people in affected areas to stay hydrated, use air conditioning and check on relatives and neighbors. The agency also recommends avoiding the sun and manual labor whenever possible, and not leaving children or pets in cars.
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