Heat wave causes hundreds of deaths and hospitalisations in Pacific north westBMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1696 (Published 05 July 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1696
- Joanne Silberner
- Seattle, USA
Governments in south western Canada and the north west corner of the US are now counting the dead and considering the region’s ability to respond to extreme temperatures after an unprecedented heat wave in late June. The weather in this part of the world is usually temperate.
Warnings of a massive “heat dome”1 started a few days before the thermometers began to rise on 27 June. Meteorologists predicted temperatures near 38°C in Seattle, Washington, and 43°C in Portland, Oregon. Many areas began setting up wading pools, spray parks, and cooling centres. The heat dome, which lasted five days, turned out to be worse than expected. Seattle hit a record high of 42°C and Portland reported temperatures of 47°C. In British Columbia, temperatures …