Pacific Northwest Heatwave Threatens Summer Skiing

Katy McClintic | | WeatherWeatherIndustry NewsIndustry News


Seattle skyline
Seattle and the PNW are experiencing a historic heatwave. Source:

Updated Monday, June 28, 2021 at 8:27 PM PST. 

Breaking news: Timberline was fully closed on Monday, June 28, 2021 due to “snow surface conditions, wind and heat”, according to their Instagram and Conditions pages. Tomorrow, Tuesday June 29, the Palmer park will not be opened as the Parks crew needs to rebuild many of the features with the recent melting of the snowpack that has occurred. Stay up to date by checking Timberline’s official condition’s pageTimberline’s official condition’s page.

Original article:

If you were in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, you were probably hunkering down in the coolest spot in your house you could find. An unprecedented heatwave has hit the Pacific Northwest with record-breaking temperatures. The heatwave arrived just as businesses are starting to reopen in full force from the pandemic. However, high temperatures almost caused a second quarantine effect as some businesses closed early and residents scrambled indoors to find relief from triple-digit temperatures. 

June in Seattle typically sees average temperatures between 48ºF and 69º F. This past weekend, Seattle Tacoma Airport recorded a high of 101ºF Saturday, with Portland, Oregon reaching a high of 107ºF. More surprising is that the highest “low” temperature for June was reached Saturday with a low of 69ºF in Seattle. 

Timberline Lodge
Timberline Lodge, a historic ski lodge sits at the base of Mt. Hood. Source:

Timberline Lodge is a popular winter and summer skiing Oregon ski resort that sits at the base of Mt. Hood. The historic ski lodge is located at 6,000 ft, with the summer lift Palmer taking skiers up to 8,540 ft. On Sunday, June 27 temperatures in the Mt. Hood area were so high that Timberline operations closed the ski resort early at noon and no terrain parks were open for the day. The national weather service predicted a high of 82 degrees F at Timberline Lodge on Sunday. Regular operations are expected to resume Monday, conditions dependent. Normal summer operations at Timberline run from 9:30 AM to 2 PM for the public and from 7 AM to 2 PM for private camps. 

Palmer Chairlift
The Palmer Chair at Mt. Hood takes skiers to 8500ft. Source: Author’s photo.

If you can’t make it up to the mountains for a slightly cooler relief this week, here are some tips for how to stay healthy and safe in a heatwave.

  1. Have a fan? Put a bowl of ice behind the fan. The fan will suck cool air over the ice and release it into the room like a makeshift air conditioner.
  2. Close all your blinds, especially in sun-facing rooms. While it may seem counterintuitive, white blinds and curtains are better for reflecting sunlight outside vs. black curtains which absorb the energy and release it as heat into your house.
  3. If you don’t have central A/C, consider opening all your windows during the cooler periods of the night. Just remember to close them early the next morning before the temperatures start heating up again.
  4. If you have pets, be sure to carefully monitor them and provide them with lots of cool water. Dogs are more sensitive to temperature differences than humans and can reach heat stroke faster. Never leave a dog in a parked vehicle during high temperatures.
  5. Daydream about the good old days of skiing in -10ºF and 35mph winds. Brrr. Watch the ski horror Frozen and you’ll be sure to have the chills.
Temperature chart
Dogs start to be at risk at only 75 degrees F. Source:–how-much-can-they-tolerate-


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