During the first three days of August, some locations in the Pacific Northwest have approached their hottest temperatures ever recorded—and parts of southeast Europe have seen all-time highs. More brutally hot days lie ahead, as residents endure a multi-day heat wave that ranks among the worst on record for both regions (even as the central and eastern U.S. enjoys an unusually mild first week of August).
Western Oregon has been the epicenter of this week’s exceptional Northwest heat. On Thursday, Portland, OR, soared to 105°F. Only five days in Portland’s history have been hotter, most recently 106°F on July 28 and 29, 2009. Medford hit 112°F on Wednesday, a temperature last seen in August 1981 and not far from Medford’s all-time high of 115°F. “Last time we saw heat like this, postage stamps were 20 cents,” noted the NWS office in Medford. The state capitol of Salem came just a degree short of its all-time high on Wednesday, hitting 107°F.
Plenty of daily record highs also fell by the wayside from central California to western Washington, though the heat wasn’t quite so impressive on either side of Oregon. Seattle hit 94°F on Thursday, breaking the daily record of 91°F set in 1939.
Temperatures again soared above 100°F on Thursday across large sections of drought-ravaged Italy. On Tuesday, the iconic city of Florence set an all-time high of 41.3°C (106.3°F), topping its record of 41.1°C (106.0°F) from 2003, according to Italy's Servizio Meteorologico. All-time records were also set on Tuesday in Perugia, L’Aquila, and Potenza, and on Wednesday in Campobasso.
Croatia’s second-largest city, Split, had the hottest day in its weather history on Wednesday. Split’s high of 42.3°C (108.1°F) handily broke the previous all-time high of 40.0°C (104°F) set on July 18, 2015. Croatia’s meteorological service, Crometeo, reported 10 other all-time highs set across the nation on Wednesday.