By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Heat maintains its hold on Northwest

Clouds moved in over the weekend, holding temperatures a few degrees below the predicted roasting level.

Nonetheless, the weather remained much warmer than normal for June, nonetheless. And the cloud cover served to substantially increase the humidity, making for a muggy weekend.

Nightime temperatures remained elevated, breaking previous overnight low records for Portland at 71, Vancouver at 70, Eugene at 67 and Salem at 72. In McMinnville, the overnight low was 64 on Saturday and 63 on Sunday, about 15 degrees above normal.

The daytime temperature in McMinnville rose to 92 on Saturday. That was 16 degrees above normal, but still under the 100 predicted. On Sunday, it peaked at 82, six degrees above normal, as cloud cover and even delivered a spattering of rain in some areas that dampened the heat.

The weather was considerably less kind to the eastern half of the region. One Eastern Washington weather station recorded a high of 120.

A high of 104 was logged in Pendleton and a record-tying high of 101 in Redmond. Record-breaking highs were listed in The Dalles at 108 and in the Washington communities of Hanford at 106, Pasco at 105, Walla Walla at 105, and Yakima at 104.

Multnomah County fire officials implemented a burn ban late last week, in view of the fire danger.

On Saturday, they modified it to allow recreational fires, ceremonial fires and legal fireworks within city limits, along with cooking on standard barbecue equipment. However, all other types of outdoor burning remain prohibited, after sparks from a passing freight train were blamed for touching off a 30-acre grass fire Friday.

Yamhill County fire officials warned residents to be extremely cautious with any type of open flame, warning that high temperatures, high winds and low humidity are combining to create high fire danger. They reminded residents that residential areas with bark dust or dry grass are just as susceptible as rural fields.

Temperatures are expected to remain higher than usual, with mid- to high-90s forecast for the rest of the week, dropping to the low 90s for the Fourth of July weekend.

So far, forecasters don’t anticipate a break in sight for the unusually hot weather. They have dropped their Red Flag warning from the Willamette Valley, but are keeping it in place for Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington.

Neither animals nor people should be left in parked cars or trucks, because temperatures can rapidly rise to a fatal level. Pets and livestock also need access to shade and plenty of fresh, clean water.