Heat wave scorches Portland area

Heat wave scorches Portland area »Play Video

Related KATU links: ForecastCooling Centers | Tips to Stay Cool | Share Pics & Videos

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oppressive. Suffocating. Miserable. Whatever you want to call this week's stretch of scorching weather, it's going to be hot, hot hot. It's obviously expected to be the hottest days of summer so far.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning from noon Monday through 10 p.m. Wednesday in the interior of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. That means heat illnesses are likely.

Monday should reach 100 degrees; the mercury is expected to climb to 102 Tuesday and 103 on Wednesday, according to KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby.

That would be the hottest stretch of 100-plus degree days since August 1981, she said. 

The really bad news is that things won't cool down much in the evenings; overnight temperatures might only dip to the 60s and 70s, the National Weather Service said.

Those needing a place to stay cool have several options, including Portland indoor and outdoor pools, which will have extended hours this week. FIND A POOL NEAR YOU.

Senior citizens can also head to several Portland area cooling centers, from the Loaves & Fishes Cooling Center in downtown offering a cool room and free lunch to the Portland Rescue Mission serving up ice cream. FIND A COOLING CENTER NEAR YOU.

Officials reported no heat-related deaths over the weekend, when temperatures reached 93 degrees in Portland on Sunday and 90 on Saturday. The area's lakes and rivers were crowded with water goers, and emergency crews responded to numerous accidents and drownings.

So here are a few key things to remember through the end of this heat wave:

  • Use fans to keep air circulating.
  • Wear loose-fitting and light-weight clothing.
  • Drink water even if you're not thirsty.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor about how the heat might affect your prescriptions. It's often advised to stash medications and vitamins/minerals in the fridge during extremely hot weather. Medications can lose their integrity if they are exposed to heat about 95 degrees, said Carrie Kikel, PR manager for Providence Milwaukie Hospital. So stash the meds in the fridge, and you in front of the fan.
  • To avoid a fire hazard use an ashtray not the roadway when disposing of lit smoking materials, recommends City of Hillsboro officials.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people who cannot get out of a car unassisted and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Avoid or reduce strenuous activity.
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • If you experience heat-related symptoms like muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, extremely high body temperature, rapid, strong pulse or confusion, call 9-1-1.