It’s Now Officially the Hottest Year in Portland History, and the City’s Air Quality Ranks Among the Worst Worldwide

Today, the city surpassed its annual record for number days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tilkum Crossing (Emily Bernard Stevens)

Well, we did it Portland.

As of today, the city has officially surpassed its annual record for number of days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record, set in 2015, was 29. Yesterday we tied it. Today we broke it.

But this isn't a record-shattering to cheer about.

Portland's air quality, KGW first reported, as of this morning was the third-worst of any major city worldwide (it has since dropped down to seventh). Seattle and Dubai are the only other metro areas experiencing more severe conditions.

Unfortunately, this is likely to be a trend. Increasingly hot, dry summers have turned the Pacific Northwest into a tinderbox. According the U.S. Forest Service, there are currently 23 large fires in Oregon and Washington burning 440,000 acres.

Eric Schoening, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Western Region, tells WW Oregon and Washington are the only two states in the U.S. to undergo statewide air quality alerts.

He adds that smoke from Pacific Northwest wildfires has traveled southeast to Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and even New York.

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