Speed Reads

Talking About the Weather

'Bonkers' heat wave shattered records from Eugene, Oregon, to Canada. Monday is forecast to be even hotter.

With an intense heat dome pitched over the Pacific Northwest, cities from Eugene, Oregon, to Lytton in Canada's British Columbia, saw their hottest temperatures in recorded history on Sunday. Eugene hit 111 degrees, topping its 1981 record of 108; Portland reached 112 degrees, beating its all-time high of 108 degrees from Saturday; and Seattle hit a record 104 degrees Sunday evening. For context, "in recorded history, Seattle has had 5 days of 100+ temperatures," The New York Times' Mike Baker noted. "Two were this weekend. Another may come Monday."

Lytton, about 95 miles northeast of Vancouver, reached 116 degrees on Sunday, which is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada. Incredibly, meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted, "today's 116°F in British Columbia, Canada, is only 1 degree 'cooler' than the all-time high temp record in Las Vegas, Nevada."

"The strength of the heat dome, or sprawling zone of high pressure centered near the U.S.-Canada border, promoting these temperatures is simply off the charts," The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports. "Its intensity is so statistically rare that it might be expected only once every several thousand years on average. But man-made climate change has made exceptional events like this many times more probable. Meteorologists are describing the situation as 'insane,' 'bonkers,' and 'incredible.'"

Portland is forecast to hit 114 degrees on Monday, while Seattle is expected to reach 110 degrees. Spokane, Washington, is forecast to tie its all-time record of 108 on Sunday and blaze up to 111 degrees on Tuesday. Few people in the typically temperate Pacific Northwest have air conditioning.