The city shattered its all-time temperature record for a second day in a row on Sunday, reaching 112 degrees at Portland International Airport just after 5 pm, according to the National Weather Service. In downtown, the heat reached 110 degrees.
Those are temperatures that have never been experienced in Florida or New York, as one New York Times reporter noted this afternoon.
On Saturday, in conditions that already felt insufferable, certain parts of the city reached 108 degrees in the late afternoon. A mere 24 hours later, Portland has once again topped itself.
The immediate cause of the scorching weather is a “heat dome,” a bubble of high pressure that has settled over the Pacific Northwest in a once-in-a-millennium event. But the phenomenon is fueled by climate change, which has increased baseline temperatures around the globe by several degrees.
As temperatures rise to previously unimaginable heights, Multnomah County is particularly worried about people living in apartments and homes without air conditioning and those living unsheltered.
The county and city improvised emergency ways to keep people from getting heat-related illnesses: Three cooling shelters are open, a handful of libraries have extended their hours, and pools, movie theaters and malls did away with their COVID capacity limits. (But city pools are already full—so the city asks that people now go to splash pads and fountains for relief.)
This post was updated throughout the day Sunday as temperatures rose.