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Record-breaking heat wave coming to Northwest

Triple digits likely by the weekend, 15 to 25 degrees above normal

As the Southwest cools off (relatively speaking) from a weeklong string of record-breaking heat, the Northwest will be scorched next.

A strong ridge of high pressure will build over the region the rest of the week, making way for abundant sunshine and suppressed rain chances. High temperatures will be about 15 to 25 degrees above normal, likely reaching record territory for many areas.

The heat will gradually start to build Wednesday through Friday, continuing this weekend and possibly lasting into next week. Highs will soar into the 90s and triple digits from far northern California to Oregon, Washington and Idaho, as well as far northwestern sections of Montana and Nevada. This includes Redding, California; Salem, Pendleton and Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Boise, Coeur d’ Alene and Lewiston, Idaho; Libby and Thompson Falls, Montana; as well as Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters began issuing excessive heat watches Tuesday evening for these areas and may post watches in additional areas over the next day or two.

Some of the hottest weather will be west of the Cascades, eastern Washington and northern Idaho, where highs could exceed 105 degrees this weekend.

Impact on freight

Demand for freight out of the Seattle market (in the Northwest region) has been increasing recently, so drivers may be heading there as the heat wave spreads. This is reflected in the rising value of the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI.SEA) in FreightWaves SONAR (blue line in the chart below). OTVI is a moving index that represents electronically tendered loads offered by shippers to carriers.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Volume Tender Index (OTVI.SEA) and Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI.SEA) for Seattle. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

The green line is the Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI.SEA) for Seattle, which represents loads that carriers are refusing to accept for various reasons. Rising OTRI values indicate tightening capacity and often mean shippers will end up paying higher rates on the spot market as opposed to lower contract rates.

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.