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Timeline, Smoking Guns, Additional Articles


VII. Pending Litigation

- Complaints -

Puerto Rico, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oakland/San Francisco, Washington

II. 2021 PNW Heat Dome

Multnomah County braces for triple-digit heat wave.

August 11, 2023


Multnomah County is ramping up efforts to keep residents safe, as temperatures are forecasted to reach dangerous levels starting this weekend. Click here

She is trying to get the U.S. to take extreme heat more seriously. Here's how.

July 28, 2023

Jona Mehta (NPR)

If you were to fly over any city in the world that's blazing under triple-digit temperatures right now, you wouldn't see anything that would look like a disaster. Yet, extreme heat killed more people in the U.S. last year than hurricanes, floods, lightning or tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. Kathy Baughman McLeod says it doesn't have to be this Mehta (NPR) Click here

World registers hottest day ever recorded on July 3

July 4, 2023


Monday, July 3, was the hottest day ever recorded globally, according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 Fahrenheit), surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92C (62.46F) as heatwaves sizzled around the world. Click here

Heat dome to challenge record highs in northwestern US beyond Fourth of July

July 3, 2023

Accu Weather

As the true "dog days of summer" get underway, AccuWeather forecasters say Mother Nature is poised to crank up the thermostat across the northwestern United States and portions of southwestern Canada. High temperatures soared to levels well above the historical average during the holiday and will continue to do so in the following days. Click here

The most at-risk regions in the world for high-impact heatwaves.

April 2023

V. Thompson, et al (Nature Communications)

In this article, the authors show where regional temperature records are statistically likely to be exceeded and which communities might be more at risk for climate change. Click here

Washington state’s 2021 heat wave contributed to 159 excess injury deaths over three weeks.

April 2023

University of Washington. Peer Reviewed

Heat is a quiet killer. Unlike most natural disasters, which can leave visible damage across an entire region, a heat wave’s effects on human health can be difficult to track. So after record high temperatures struck the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2021, official estimates included only people killed directly by heat exposure. Click here

The unprecedented Pacific Northwest heatwave of June 2021.

February 2023

R. White, et al

In late June 2021 a heatwave of unprecedented magnitude impacted the Pacific Northwest region of Canada and the United States. The impacts of this event were catastrophic, including hundreds of attributable deaths across the Pacific Northwest, mass mortalities of marine life, reduced crop and fruit yields, river flooding from rapid snow and glacier melt, and a substantial increase in wildfires—the latter contributing to landslides in the months following. Click here

2021 NW heat wave 'once-in-10,000-years kind of event'

September 2022

Alison Hewitt, UCLA

When the 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave peaked at 121 degrees Fahrenheit, it buckled roads, melted power lines, killed hundreds and led to a devastating wildfire. Climate scientists were shocked to see heat so severe. Research by climate scientist and statistician Karen McKinnon shows the scientific community was right to be stunned. The 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave was roughly a once-in-10,000-years kind of event, a UCLA study found. Click here

Rapid attribution analysis of the extraordinary heat wave on the Pacific coast of the US and Canada in June 2021

December 2022

F. Otto, Michael Wehner, et al

Towards the end of June 2021, temperature records were broken by several degrees Celsius in several cities in the Pacific Northwest areas of the US and Canada, leading to spikes in sudden deaths and sharp increases in emergency calls and hospital visits for heat-related illnesses. This multi-model, multi-method attribution analysis to investigate the extent to which human-induced climate change has influenced the probability and intensity of extreme heat waves in this region. Click here

Lessons from Portland's 2021 heat wave that can help us prep for the hot summer ahead.


NPR Radio

This radio news story discusses the lessons learned from the 2021 heat wave in Portland, Oregon, which caused hundreds of deaths and led to power outages and other disruptions. It highlights the need for better preparation and response to extreme heat events, particularly for vulnerable communities such as the elderly, low-income households, and people experiencing homelessness. Also discussed it the importance of urban planning and infrastructure design in reducing the impacts of extreme heat, such as increasing green spaces, shade, and access to cooling centers. Click here

Heat wave scorches Pacific Northwest, echoing brutal 2021 stretch.

July 2022

NBC News

The heat wave currently affecting the Pacific Northwest is reminiscent of a similar event that occurred in June 2021 and caused hundreds of deaths in the region. This news story discusses the factors that contribute to these extreme heat events, including climate change and human activities such as urbanization and deforestation. It also highlights the efforts being made by local governments and organizations to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat, including the provision of cooling centers and outreach to vulnerable communities. Click here

It's been one year since Oregon's deadly heat dome. Will it happen again?

June 2022

Joe Raineri (KGW Channel 8)

The news story reflects on the one-year anniversary of the heat dome that affected the Pacific Northwest in June 2021. The heat wave led to unprecedented temperatures, causing hundreds of deaths, power outages, and transportation disruptions. The story highlights the impacts on vulnerable communities and how the heat wave exposed existing inequities in access to resources such as cooling centers, shade, and clean water. Also discussed is efforts by local governments and organizations to prepare for future extreme heat events and address the impacts of climate change. Click here

Final Report: Health Impacts from Excessive Heat Events in Multnomah County, Oregon, 2021.

June 2022

Multnoma County

Since 2016 the Multnomah County Health Department has tracked emergency room visits and fatalities related to extreme heat. This report provides a final accounting of deaths and emergency department visits resulting from heat during the summer of 2021. Click here

Regional Climate and Health Monitoring Report 2010-2020.

Fall 2021

Multnoma County

The Regional Climate and Health Monitoring Report provides data on 12 health conditions. The health conditions span six areas that climate change is known to affect. This data will help guide current mitigation efforts and provide a benchmark for future measurement.This document is the first update to the Regional Climate and Health Monitoring Report released in 2019. Click here

Historic Heat Wave – Early Summer 2023.


The Inland Northwest Informer

Over the last full week of June 2021, an anomalous high pressure ridge amplified over the Pacific Northwest, leading to an unprecedented heat wave over the region. Despite being only a week into astronomical summer, the magnitude of this ridge led to sites all across the region setting all-time record high temperatures. Click here

Preliminary Review on Excessive Heat Deaths.

July 2021

Multnoma County

The following report is a preliminary look at confirmed deaths due to hyperthermia (which literally means “excessive heat”). What is clear is the climate disruption is making extreme heat events more frequent, more intense and longer in duration. Click here

Heat wave broils Western Washington, shattering Seattle and regional temperature records on June 28, 2021.

July 2021

C. McNerthey

On June 28, 2021, the third day of a withering heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, the temperature in Seattle soars to 108 degrees, an all-time record. The 108-degree mark is the city's highest temperature in the 151 years since detailed recordkeeping began on February 16, 1870. Click here

Portland records all-time high temperature of 116, setting new record for third day in a row.

June 2021

Oregon Live – The Oregonian

Portland has set a new all-time high temperature record of 113 degrees Fahrenheit for the third day in a row. This extreme heat has caused multiple deaths and has forced businesses and public facilities to close. Because of this, the National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for western Oregon and southwest Washington. Click here

June 2021 Extreme Heat Event. Preliminary Findings and Action Steps.


Multnoma County

Multnomah County has long tracked and recognized that the region’s summers are growing hotter and drier due to climate change, and recognized the impact that these stressors would have on vulnerable communities. They used that information to as planning and policy efforts. But the shocking temperature swing that began June 25 arrived years earlier than expected, a crisis within multiple crises. Click here

Final Report: Health Impacts from Excessive Heat Events in Multnomah County, Oregon, 2021.

June 2022

Multnoma County

Since 2016 the Multnomah County Health Department has tracked emergency room visits and fatalities related to extreme heat. This report provides a final accounting of deaths and emergency department visits resulting from heat during the summer of 2021. Click here

2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave ‘virtually impossible’ without global warming, scientists find.

November 2021

Yale Climate Connections

In June 2021, a record-breaking heat wave scorched the Pacific Northwest. High temperatures in Portland are usually in the seventies at that time of year. But in 2021, they reached more than 110 degrees. Hundreds of people died across the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. “Many people do not realize that heat waves are actually one of the deadliest natural hazards,” says Sjoukje Philip of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute. Click here

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