PORTLAND, Oregon — Oregonians are bracing for hot weather, with temperatures forecast to reach well into the 90s next week, even topping 100 in southern areas of the state.
Retailers on Saturday reported strong demand for hot-weather supplies like fans and air conditioners. Several counties opened cooling centers to provide relief from sweltering temperatures.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for Saturday and said weekend weather was expected to be abnormally humid west of the Cascades, with a chance for rare thunderstorms overnight and on Sunday.
Cloud cover, precipitation and marine air will help keep temperatures under control Sunday and Monday, followed by a return of higher temperatures in the upper 80s to upper 90s in northwestern Oregon beginning Tuesday.
Areas of southern Oregon, including Grants Pass and Medford, hit triple digits on Saturday, and forecasters said Medford could get as hot as 107 next week.
With such oppressive heat in the forecast, some Portland-area retailers reported running low on heat-relief supplies. A Fred Meyer store in Hillsboro had sold out of pools, fans and air conditioners, assistant manager Tommy Rein told the Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1oS0aWr).
"It happens every year," Rein said. "We get a heat wave, and everyone's trying to find a way to cope with it."
Officials advised people to avoid strenuous activity during the afternoon and early evening when temperatures are hottest and not to leave children or pets in cars.
"Don't assume your dog will be OK in the car for even a few minutes," Washington County Animal Services Manager Deborah Wood told KPTV (http://bit.ly/1q6yPTW). "We are receiving calls to help pets that are in hot cars every day. With the predicted temperatures, these cars can quickly become death chambers."
Fire was also a concern. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest had five engines and a light helicopter to assist the engines, hand crews, helicopters and rapellers already available to put out a fire sparked by lightning. Following Friday's thunderstorms, firefighters detected just one fire, and it was quickly extinguished after burning less than a tenth of an acre.