Heat records fall in western Oregon
The Associated Press
8/14/02 12:55 AM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Records were accumulating faster than beads of sweat Tuesday as at least 10 Oregon cities had afternoon temperatures of more than 100 degrees.
More than a dozen cities in the western part of the state set records, including Portland, which declared an "orange" air pollution warning because of high ozone levels.
The air quality warnings mean that state officials expect high temperatures and low-level winds, which mix with auto exhaust and other pollutants to create high levels of smog.
In Medford, smoke from forest fires mixed with the state's worst heat -- 108 degrees -- to create breathing woes.
"To add insult to injury, we're probably looking at some high ozone numbers here as well," said John Becker, an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality air quality expert in Medford. "Right now, the best advice is, if you've got smoke around you, try to take it easy."
Particle pollution, such as that from fires or diesel engines, is even more dangerous to health than ozone pollution, said Michael Heumann, an environmental epidemiologist for the Oregon Public Health Service. That's because particles carry chemicals on their surface and lodge in the lungs, he said, instead of being breathed out like other pollutants.
While wildfire smoke continued to cause problems in a few cities, such as Brookings, wind helped keep Klamath Falls, Eugene and other cities relatively free of smoke or ozone pollution.
Roseburg reached 107 degrees, the second hottest spot in the state, while Corvallis and Troutdale both hit 106, beating records that have stood since the drought-plagued summer of 1977.
Coastal cities were also hit hard by the heat wave. Astoria logged a 95-degree day, 9 degrees higher than the previous record. Tillamook also hit 95, beating its high by 11 degrees. Newport sweltered in 99-degree heat, blasting past its old record of 83 degrees, set Aug. 13, 1942.
But Florence was the hottest coastal spot, hitting 104 degrees. To the east, Eugene recorded the same temperature, and Salem also hit 104, edging out a 103-degree record for Aug. 13 that the capital set in 1920. Gorge winds didn't save The Dalles, which hit 102.
In Portland, the official high temperature as measured at Portland International Airport was 102 degrees, topping a 96-degree record set in 1992.
The air quality warnings mean that state officials expect high temperatures and low-level winds, which mix with auto exhaust and other pollutants to create high levels of smog."
Lars Larson proved today that this orange alert should not have been issued. The air quality here was fine (we actually had a "green" day) and they knew it would be fine by 7 AM yesterday morning. This was just another lie to get people to ride the bus and lightrail, make the asthmatics worry, and to add credance to their claim that we need to "get out of our cars". Pffft!
Great bump, EBUCK!