Temperatures in metro area could hit 100

Weather expert Steve Pierce says the Portland area, and the Pacific Northwest, should prepare for brutal heat in the coming week.

"The Pacific Northwest is going to feel the heat for the next week as mother nature opens up the oven door in what has the potential to be the longest stretch of hot weather in several years. Models are coming into agreement today that a strong ridge of high pressure will build across the region Friday and hold through most of next week," says Pierce, owner of Northwest Weather Consultants.

Temperatures above 90 degrees may reign for up to six consecutive days — a duration that exceeds what most Northwestern residents have come to expect.

"Most residents consider three or more days at or above 90 degrees in Portland as the benchmark for a Pacific Northwest heat wave," Pierce said in a press release. "At the present time, forecast models are indicating the potential for as many as five to six consecutive days at or above 90 degrees between Friday and next Wednesday."

Pierce said the heat-inducing conditions include low level winds at the surface that will switch from onshore to offshore beginning on Friday.

"This coupled with a strong ridge of high pressure at the upper levels of the atmosphere will allow the heat to build over the weekend and last into next week," he said. "There is also the potential for some moisture over the weekend, which could trigger thunderstorms over the Cascades and eastside."

There is the potential, he said for temperatures to reach 100 degrees in Portland.

"For historical perspective, Portland averages approximately 12 days at or above 90 degrees each year," Pierce said, although he noted that in 2009 Portland "met or exceeded 90 degrees 24 times, setting a new record for the number of 90 degree or higher days in a given year."

Portland's all-time high-temperature record of 107 degrees was set in August of 1981.

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