Preview of sizzling summer weather bakes outer East Portland

Don’t expect it to last for very long, however. Learn when the heat wave will end, take a look at our “temperature survey” – and get tips on buying a window air conditioner, right here …

Temperatures in outer East Portland – measured two spots along SE Division Street: 96 degrees at Bank of the West at SE 82nd Ave. of Roses; and 97 degrees at Division Station at SE 122nd Ave.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It sure is hard to believe that temperatures would actually top 90 degrees on May 16 – but anyone out experiencing weather in the greater Portland knows that it was sizzling hot today.

Record-breaking heat
“There is a heat advisory posted until 8:00 p.m. this evening,” commented meteorologist Tiffani Brown, with the National Weather Service.

Brown said that, typically, we could expect a temperature spike into the lower 80s. “But today, we’re registering 93 degrees – we’ve broken the record high of 88 degrees set at Portland International Airport in 1982.”

The reason for this, Brown explained, is a weather pattern with an upper level ridge of high pressure sitting over the area. “Down near the surface, we have a thermally-induced low pressure area. Because of this, we lose the influence of the cooler marine air west of the Cascades.”

Some students swelter
We did a quick check of area schools – all were still in session, even though few of them are air conditioned. As we drove past, we saw shades drawn down, windows open and fans in doorways.

“The nice thing about being in a newer facility,” commented Roy Reynolds, principal at Parkrose High School, “is our complex is air conditioned. We didn’t notice the heat at our school.”

One cool job: Standard TV & Appliance’s Keith Figueroa shows off some of the air conditioners their customers are buying.

Record heat boosts air conditioner sales
“As you’d guess,” Keith Figueroa, sales manager, Standard TV & Appliance on SE 82nd Ave., told us, “we’ve sold four times the normal amount of air conditioners we’d typically sell. And, we haven’t even got to the busy part of the day yet. People will be stopping in after work.”

When shopping for an install-it-yourself window or portable air conditioner, “The number one to look for is energy efficiency,” Figueroa informed us.  “We have a unit that sells for $99. But for $20 more, you get one that is not only more energy efficient, but also is a much quieter unit. And, the more efficient units have computerized displays allowing you to program the exact temperature you want.”

Even though this heat wave will soon be over, now is still a good time to buy, Figueroa stated. “The hot days bring in customers – but when it’s hot, muggy and humid all night long – and you can’t sleep very well – that’s when the demand goes up and stores tend to sell out their inventories.”

Expect ‘typical’ weather soon
“It’s going to be pretty warm on Saturday,” said the weather bureau’s Brown. “We’re expecting mid to upper 80s. It will cool off soon as the high pressure ridge moves east. Then, we’ll be back to our normal springtime weather patterns.”

Brown declined to predict the weather for the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade in June.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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