Portions of western Washington will see afternoon highs in the 90s, possibly near 100 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, the NWS in Seattle said.
“Strong high pressure over the Pacific Northwest will bring a stretch of unseasonably hot weather to much of southwest Washington and northwest Oregon beginning Friday and lasting through at least next Monday,” NWS said in a statement. “High temperatures will run 20 to 25 degrees above normal for late June at many locations, putting numerous daily records and perhaps a few monthly high temperature records in jeopardy.”
In addition to drastically high temperatures, the region experienced extremely low rain and snowfall over the past year. Less rain and increasing heat waves have led directly to drought conditions and water shortages.
Scientists have blamed climate change for the heat, which has fueled dozens of wildfires across the West.
“Climate change is loading the weather dice against us,” Katharine Hayhoe, a climate researcher and the chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, told Fintech Zoom. “We always have a chance of extreme heat, particularly in the summer: But as the world warms, we see that summer heatwaves are coming earlier, lasting longer and are becoming hotter and more intense.”
Wildfires scorch the West as drought continues
Arizona is fighting 11 active wildfires, including the Telegraph fire, which has burned more than 80,000 acres since June 4 and remained below 100% containment as of Tuesday.
The NIFC called on people to be vigilant.
“The public plays a valuable role in preventing wildfires. On average, nationally, human-caused wildfires comprise 87 percent of all wildfire occurrences every year,” NIFC said in a statement. “Most of these fires can be prevented. We need your help to prevent wildfires.”
Fintech Zoom’s John Keefe, Rachel Ramirez, Hannah Gard and Monica Garrett contributed to this report.