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.
Portland's air quality should start to improve later today, but as of right now, it's still bad, third-worst among major cities worldwide. Story: https://t.co/3TJtR26nAp pic.twitter.com/Bjh13Q7gNt— KGW News (@KGWNews) August 22, 2018
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.
We now have 23 large #fires burning nearly 440,000 acres with 8,300+ #firefighters hard at work. Please do your part by never leaving your #campfire unattended, letting trailer chains dangle or tossing cigarette butts out of vehicles! Don't add human-caused fires to our fire mix! pic.twitter.com/WZxfnMmW6K— Forest Service NW (@ForestServiceNW) August 22, 2018
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.