Shifting wind brings more heat, smoke; Lidia bringing rain
A change in the weather forecast late this week could bring welcome relief from the heat and the wildfire smoke that has hovered over the region for the past couple of days.
The National Weather Service says a heat advisory is still in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5. But a low-pressure system pushing into the region could bring some rain, thunderstorms and cooler temperatures beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday.
Until then, the Portland area will stay under a state air quality alert because of smoke from dozens of wildfires burning from Washington to Northern California. A shift in wind could bring more smoke into the Willamette Valley Tuesday, according to the Oregon Smoke Blog.
The Eagle Creek Fire started Saturday, Sept. 2, in the Columbia River Gorge, burning about 3,000 acres overnight and trapping more than 150 hikers. Hood River County search-and-rescue teams rescued the hikers.
Residents in Cascade Locks and some places south of Interstate 84 in Hood River County face imminent evacuation orders as the fire grows. Some residents north of Interstate 84 were told during the weekend to prepare for evacuation.
Multnomah County and the American Red Cross opened a reception center for people in Bonneville, Dodson and Warrendale who have been forced from their homes by the Eagle Creek fire.
On Sunday evening, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office told people in those areas to prepare for the region's evacuation. The reception center is at Chapel Church, 27132 S.E. Stark St., Troutdale. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 4, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5.
People who need additional assistance, including meals and overnight accommodations, should go to the Hedgewald Center, 710 S.W. Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, Washington.
Also on Sunday, Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Eagle Creek Fire. "Crews are deployed throughout Oregon fighting some of the most intense wildfires in the nation," Brown said Sunday. "The swift action of fire crews responding to the Eagle Creek Fire and heroic efforts of our Oregon National Guard saved lives, and I thank the crews still on the front lines who are working actively to contain the fire."
Hot Labor Day weekend
Thanks to remnants of Tropical Storm Lidia, which hit the Baja Peninsula and western Mexico on Friday, Sept. 1, the region could see rain showers Wednesday night through Friday. Lidia hit Mexico and then fell apart, bringing heavy rain as it slipped back into the Pacific.
The weather service reports that Tuesday evening's thunderstorms could be dry, with a potential for lightning strikes that could cause more wildfires. By Wednesday and Thursday, however, the storm is expected to gain moisture and drop "some significant" rain on the region.
Monday's expected high could be near triple-digits, the first time in about 19 years that could happen. Weather service forecasters say temperatures have exceeded 100 twice in September: when it hit 105 Sept. 2, 1988, and 101 on Sept. 5, 1944.
Monday could be the hottest Labor Day on record, according to the weather service. It's been about 62 years since it was this hot on Labor Day weekend, forecasters say.