Heat Wave Sets All-Time Records

By Rod Hill on 2021-06-29

An Excessive Heat Warning continues into this weekend for areas east of the Cascades,
including Hood River and all of central Oregon, where triple digit heat will continue and in 
some cities, the worst of the heat is yet to arrive. 

Here is the final list of records from western Oregon and southwestern Washington:  

New all-time record high temperature:

Portland (PDX):  116 degrees - records at various sites date back to 1874
Salem:                117 degrees
Troutdale:           116 degrees
Vancouver:         115 degrees
McMinnville:       114 degrees
Hillsboro:            114 degrees
Kelso:                 110 degrees
Astoria:               101 degrees  (tied all-time record)
Corvallis:            110 degrees
Eugene:              111 degrees
Hood River:        109 degrees

Note that The Dalles through Monday evening was the hot spot in Oregon, setting an all-time high record for the city 
of 118 degrees.  The record may be broken on this Monday or Tuesday.  The hottest temperature all time for Oregon
is 119 degrees, set back in 1898 in Pendleton and Prineville.  The record could fall this week. 

Other records for Portland include the warmest all-time overnight or low temperature at PDX of 75 degrees set Sunday morning.  The old record was 74 in July of 2009.  Prior to this heat wave, Portland’s (PDX) all time record high was 107 degrees, reached in July of 1965 and twice in August of 1981. 

Portland (PDX) broke 7 consecutive daily records, staring with a high-low temperature record 65 degrees last Friday, June 25th and ending with Monday’s high of 116 degrees.  It is possible that this afternoon, June 29th will tie the daily record high of 97 degrees in Portland.

As advertised, Saturday, Sunday and Monday was the most historic heat wave on record in terms of the extreme heat.  The weather pattern itself was not unusual, but simply a classic strong upper level high pressure ridge, centered over the Northwest.  What was unprecedented (in recorded history) was the strength of the pressure ridge. The air mass supported surface temperatures some 10 degrees hotter than Portland had ever seen and we now know, the air mass produced.  It would only take a slightly warmer set-up in the future to produce the first ever 120 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in the Willamette Valley.  Not saying 120 degree temps will happen anytime soon for Salem or Portland and hoping the current records hold for decades to come. 

Meteorologist Rod Hill