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Heatwave Impact, Warnings Reach Oregon Coast Range, Washington's Willapa Hills

Published 07/27/22 at 5:35 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Heatwave Impact, Warnings Reach Oregon Coast Range, Washington's Willapa Hills

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(Seaside, Oregon) – At least a couple more days of intense heatwaves are in store for inland Oregon and southwest Washington, with numerous heat advisories and air quality issues for Vancouver down through Lane County in Oregon. 25 counties in Oregon are under a heat emergency declaration by Gov. Kate Brown with 100 degrees or more in many of those areas. (Above: Oregon Coast Range. Trippy rock formations in a stream along Highway 34)

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued various heat advisories and even some air quality advisories that are now including the Oregon Coast Range and the Willapa Hills of the south Washington coast.

However, temps on the Oregon coast and Washington coast remain a good 40 degrees cooler, making those areas packed with visitors and no vacancy signs even during the weekdays.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. on Saturday for the Oregon Coast Range through the central Oregon coast and in Washington's Willapa Hills. There, temps are expected to be up to 95 degrees.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

That means perhaps as little as ten miles away from the beaches temps could suddenly skyrocket some 40 degrees.

However, the NWS said there is a 50 percent chance the weather could suddenly switch gears late this week and drop into the 80s by Saturday.

Still, the agency is warning of potential health issues.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities and for those that do not have access to air conditioning,” the NWS said.

These advisories are also listed for just about the entirety of the state along with southern Washington, with everything east of the Coast Range foothills near 100 or higher.

The Dalles already beat its previous record of 111 on Tuesday.

The NWS said you should drink plenty of fluids and stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible, keep out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Never leave pets or children unattended in vehicles, the NWS said.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” the NWS said. “When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments.”

If anyone you know is overcome by heat exhaustion they should immediately be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, the NWS said.

An air quality advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday from the eastern side of the Oregon Coast Range, through the Willamette Valley and into the Columbia River valleys.

This involves more agencies than just the NWS, including the Southwest Clean Air Agency, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

NWS said this is an Air Quality Advisory for ozone.

“High levels of ozone in the lower atmosphere in the region combined with forecasted conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups at times through Saturday evening,” the NWS said. “This includes children, people over 65, pregnant women, and people with heart disease or respiratory conditions. Health officials recommend sensitive groups limit outdoor activity when pollution levels are high.”

The DEQ is urging residents, especially the western half of the state, to limit activities that can cause pollution throughout this heatwave.

1. Limit driving by using public transit, carpooling and other
alternative transportation.
2. Avoid unnecessary engine idling.
3. Refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours.
4. Postpone mowing the lawn or using leaf blowers.
5. Postpone painting and aerosol spray projects.

Smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs and contributes to breathing problems. Consult your health care provider if these symptoms worsen.

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