Lincoln Steele does a backflip off the high dive to cool off at the Vale City Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 10. The high for the day was 96. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)
Malheur County is again turning into a hot, roiled sea of literal heat waves as the forecast predicts yet another round of triple-digit temperatures in the coming days.
The National Weather Service in Boise has issued an excessive heat warning for “dangerously hot conditions” in Ontario and the area from the morning of Thursday, Aug. 12 until the late evening of Saturday, Aug. 14.
The forecast high for Thursday is 103, bumping up to 104 for Friday and Saturday and lows in the 70s.
“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” according to the weather service.
Ontario has not recorded a hotter stretch on these dates since 1971, when the high temperature stayed above 107 from Aug. 9 to Aug. 14 setting the record for each date, according to the weather service. The average high in August for the area is usually in the lower to mid 90s.
But it has been an unusually hot summer for an area that is used to hot summers. According to weather service records, there have been 35 days since June 1 with a high temperature over 100 in Ontario.
One of the most important steps for people during a heat wave is to stay cool and well hydrated. Cooling stations will be set up at the Four Rivers Cultural Center and Origins Faith Community’s New Hope Day Shelter in Ontario for the remainder of the week.
The Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization will also be providing rides to the cooling stations if needed. For more information about scheduling a ride, visit malheurhealth.org.
People can also cool off at the Ontario Splash Pad and the Vale City Swimming Pool.
After this heat wave is over, there are no 100-degree days in the 10-day forecast, with temperatures back down into the lower 90s after Monday.
“If we can just be patient, it will cool down significantly after Monday,” said Les Colin, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Boise. “We aren’t seeing anything in the immediate future after this heat wave is over. And once we get to Labor Day it will cool off as we get more frequent, cooler air masses.”
Gov. Kate Brown has issued a state of emergency due to the heat wave, urging people to check in on friends and relatives.
News tip? Contact multimedia journalist Austin Johnson: [email protected] or (541) 784-7151
EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM – Available for $5 a month. Subscribe to the digital service of the Enterprise and get the very best in local journalism. We report with care, attention to accuracy, and an unwavering devotion to fairness. Get the kind of news you’ve been looking for – day in and day out from the Enterprise.