Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Image source: ECMWF/Copernicus via KNMI Climate Explorer·Shaded areas represent places where maximum temperatures in the last week ranked compared with annual maximum temperatures from 1979 to 2020.


Melting Cables, Buckled Roads, & Blackouts As Northwest Heatwave Peaks

Another day, another cascade of high temperature records broken across the Pacific Northwest as a heatwave unlike any in recent memory continued into a third day.

In Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, all-time records were broken in many places for the third consecutive day: In Portland, highs topped out at 116°F on Monday afternoon, obliterating Sunday’s record of 112°, which itself was a jump from the historic high of 107° set in August 1981. Temperatures at Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport were measured at 108°, topping Sunday’s 104°.

The effects of 72 hours of extraordinary heat showed themselves in dramatic ways Monday. In Portland, the light rail and streetcar systems were suspended as the grid felt the strain — in some cases, literally, as power cables melted in the sun. Multnomah County, where Portland is located, reported a spike in heat-related emergency and urgent care visits as residents sought relief.

Roads across the region buckled as asphalt and concrete expanded and cracked due to high temperatures. The Seattle Parks Department closed one indoor public pool because air temperatures in the facility were so high as to be unsafe for visitors. At Amazon’s largely un-air conditioned warehouse complex south of Seattle, some workers were kept on the job throughout Monday, even as others were sent home with pay following reports on Sunday that departments were running “power hours,” encouraging workers to move as quickly as possible for an hour to increase productivity.

Residents experienced scattered blackouts, with around 30,000 outages reported in Washington and Oregon Monday evening. Heat waves kill more people on average in the U.S. than any other weather-related event, and are expected to continue to become increasingly frequent and severe with the effects of climate change. “We are not meant for this,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee told MSNBC. “This is the beginning of a permanent emergency … we have to tackle the source of this problem, which is climate change.”

Sources: ReutersMSNBCAPK5 NewsBloombergThe OregonianSeattle TimesNew York Times $, Washington Post $, Washington Post $, CNNCNNCBSHuffPostGizmodoMIT Technology ReviewScientific American770 KTTHAxios; Photos: Axios

This is a quick news brief from Nexus Media (images added by editor).

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

A syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture.


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopts Advanced Clean Car II Rule All new vehicle sales in the state to be electric battery or plug-in hybrid...

Clean Transport

Canada has adopted rules requiring the sale of zero emissions vehicles that closely follow those crafted by California.


A decommissioned nuclear power plant from the 1980s is repurposed for agrivoltaics and prairie restoration.

Clean Power

The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in eastern Oregon was commissioned last week. It is the fourth and largest hybrid wind, solar, and battery storage...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.