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Heat waves scorching two coasts heading into weekend

Record-breaking triple-digit heat possible in Northwest

Scorching heat will continue to bake two regions of the country heading into the weekend. In some areas, the humidity will add another layer of risk for anyone who has to work outdoors.


A strong ridge of high pressure will stay parked over the Pacific Northwest, leading to more triple-digit heat in many places.

New daily record highs were set Thursday in Eugene and Redmond, Oregon, where the mercury climbed to 103 and 101 degrees, respectively.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events, August 13, 2021, 7:30 a.m. ET. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

The National Weather Service is keeping excessive-heat warnings posted through Saturday evening for the Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Boise, Idaho, metropolitan areas. Warnings are also in place for the Pendleton, Salem and Medford, Oregon, areas, as well as far Northern California.

Temperatures will again top out in the upper 90s and lower 100s Friday and Saturday afternoons. Even though it will continue to be a dry heat, these temperatures are dangerously high, ranging from 10 to 20 degrees above average for mid-August.

Portions of Southern California will also be scorching. Highs will reach 105 to just above 120 degrees in places like Death Valley, Barstow, Lancaster, Palmdale, Edwards Air Force Base, Mojave and the Apple Valley.


On the opposite coast, high heat will stick around the Northeast for another day. Temperatures Friday will reach the 90s to 100 degrees again along the Interstate 95 corridor from Baltimore and Washington to Boston and southern Maine. This also includes the Delmarva Peninsula; Philadelphia; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; and Providence, Rhode Island. A record high of 100 degrees for Thursday was set at Dulles International Airport in Washington, while record highs of 98 degrees were tied at both LaGuardia Airport in New York City and at Newark, New Jersey.

Oppressive humidity, paired with the high temperatures, will lead to heat index readings of 100 to 110 degrees. This will also be the case for eastern sections of Virginia and North Carolina.

Drivers should spend as little time as possible outside their trucks in any of the places mentioned where heat will be an issue. Heat exhaustion can set in quickly, followed by possible heat stroke. Heat safety tips are available here.

Other notable weekend weather

There’s a good chance that Tropical Depression Fred will gain strength Friday, returning to tropical storm status. Landfall in the Florida Keys is likely Saturday, with sustained winds of about 45 mph, and gusts up to 60 mph. This is according to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast at 8 a.m. ET Friday.

Related: Logistics groups ready to help during potentially busy hurricane season

Then, Fred will come close to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area Sunday, followed by a Florida Panhandle landfall near Apalachicola early Monday. Look for more updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.