Summer-like hot, dry weather expected to continue in Willamette Valley, Pacific Northwest

Now almost two weeks into fall, The Willamette Valley and Pacific Northwest have experienced unseasonably warm, summer-like weather, and it's expected to last at least through the end of the weekend and possibly into next week.

In the past week Eugene has reached or exceeded 80 degrees in the first three days of October, with highs of 87 for Saturday and Sunday, and 80 on Monday. The average temperature for Oct. 4 is 71 and Tuesday recorded just above that at 73. Some of the hottest weather in the Pacific Northwest was in Portland, reaching 88 degrees on Sunday, two short of the 90-degree record.

The prolonged heat is due to a large area of high pressure sitting over the Pacific Northwest and will continue, “for the next week or so,” according to National Weather Service meteorologist Colby Newman in Portland.

“It’s dominating a lot of the western U.S. for that matter and is keeping pretty much the entire western U.S. dry,” Newman said Tuesday.

Eugene is forecast to receive highs of 78 Thursday and Friday, but could get up to 80 degrees on either of those days, Newman said.

Past then, Saturday and Sunday are expected to see highs of 79 and 80, respectively, and 79 on Monday.

Hotter weather is expected in Salem, with highs in the low 80s for Thursday through Monday.

To the east, Oakridge is forecast to be warmer than in the valley, with the hottest day coming Sunday with a high of 84.

While the Cedar Creek Fire is not contributing to the warm weather, its smoke has degraded air quality somewhat in Eugene and Springfield. On Sunday Eugene recorded “moderate” air quality ratings on Sunday. The fire, which was sparked by an early-August lightning strike, had grown to 120,855 acres, as of Tuesday, east of Oakridge.

Each night wildfire smoke has drifted west from Oakrdige, but it typically doesn’t make it all the way to Eugene and Springfield, Newman said. On Thursday, though, Eugene and Springfield will likely see more noticeable smoke.

In Oakridge the air quality has been worse, recording a “hazardous” air quality index rating of 374 on Tuesday at noon.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com or 541-521-2498, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Summer-like hot weather expected to continue in Oregon, PNW