On Saturday, June 26th I woke up at 3 AM, packed up my car, and began the 16-hour drive from Los Angeles to my hometown outside of Seattle. Little did I know that I was heading towards one of the hottest damn heatwaves to ever hit the Pacific Northwest.
The picture above is Mount Shasta the last time I made this ungodly drive. This time around, the scenery was just as beautiful, but with a mountain almost devoid of snow. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all gone the following day, seeing as the Mt. Shasta/Yreka area would heat up to a high of 109 on Sunday the 27th.
By the time I arrived at my destination in Washington, it was a crisp 90 degrees as the sun set around 9:30 PM. Seattle temperatures soared over the weekend with the city’s record high on Monday the 28th at 108 degrees. In fact, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday all boasted heats of over 100 degrees throughout the area. Likewise, Portland also shattered records with temperatures of 108 on Saturday, 112 on Sunday, and 116 on Monday.
As someone who spent most of their childhood growing up in Washington, I’m used to June and July coasting around the mid 70s to 80s range. But triple digits?? Come on, the people of the Northwest were not ready for that kind of heat. Most folks I know don’t even have air conditioning, and many individuals were forced to pool resources in order to keep from becoming steamed vegetables in their own homes. Every gas station in my hometown ran out of ice, and every kid whose parents owned a boat became the most popular person in school.
All jokes aside, the heatwave was the cause of some serious damage throughout the Pacific Northwest over the weekend. For example, public infrastructure has been affected in several manners. Roads have cracked and buckled due to overheated expanding asphalt. At the same time, power lines have been damaged and many businesses were closed due to unsafe working conditions. It is also likely that the soaring temperatures were cause for a number of heatstroke and dehydration-related deaths throughout Washington and Oregon over the last several days.
As we head into Fourth of July weekend, Pacific Northwest temperatures continue to float around 100 degrees in some areas, while dropping in others. Stay cool out there folks, and remember to hit up that kid with a boat.