Heat wave will hit Salem starting Sunday

Salem won’t break any records next week, but the area may see triple-digit temperatures as a heat wave blankets much of the Pacific Northwest.

The heat will begin Sunday with an expected high of 91, according to the National Weather Service in Portland. Monday and Tuesday are expected to reach a high of 95, while Wednesday may hit 98.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with how hot Sunday and Monday are going to be but beginning Tuesday, our confidence builds in regards to the heat,” said meteorologist John Bumgardner. “There’s potential for temperatures over 100 but it doesn’t look like we’ll break a record.”

The record for next week was set back on July 28, 2009 with a temperature of 107. This year, the forecast is predicting a temperature of 97 on that date. 

While higher temperature forecasts may exist for the coming week, Bumgardner said that’s because most private sector apps look at just one model. The National Weather Service collects multiple models and additional data before making the most likely forecast. 

Homeless service providers in Salem are gearing up for a busy week.

“We remember last year’s heat dome, and while the temperatures aren’t forecasted to reach the same highs …it’s a huge concern because unsheltered populations don’t have the same access to potable water as the rest of the population does,” said Robert Marshall, emergency services manager for the ARCHES Project.

He said the agency has extended its day center hours from 9 a..m. to 7 p.m. from Sunday, July 24 through Saturday, July 30 to give people more time to cool off. The center typically closes at 4:30 p.m.

Salemites who want to help their neighbors stay cool can drop off electrolyte beverages like Gatorade at the day center, 615 Commercial St. N.E., during its open hours next week, Marshall said.

Outreach workers will be out at homeless camps and Salem’s streets offering water and cool beverages, and making sure people have transportation to cooling centers if needed. Cherriots is also offering free bus rides to cooling shelter locations.

Church at the Park will likely offer misters to keep people cool at its location on Southeast Turner Road, said Sam Dompier, the chief housing and development officer.

The church operates micro shelter villages in Salem. The small shelters have swamp cooling that can “take the edge off,” though it’s not as effective as air conditioning, Dompier said. They’ll also hand out more water and electrolyte beverages.

Salem city officials said residents without air conditioning can cool off in city buildings, including the Salem Public Library and Center 50+.

“As temperatures exceed 100 degrees in the coming days, the city will continue to work with our community service network to provide adequate cooling shelters across the community,” the city’s public information officer John Winn said in a statement. 

A number of city locations and homeless service providers will operate as cooling centers next week. Marshall said anyone is welcome to stop by and cool off, whether they have housing or not.

Splash pads will also be open daily at parks around Salem. A list of locations and hours is available on the city website.

Cooling center locations in Salem

A map of these locations and others in Marion and Polk counties is available here.

The ARCHES Project

615 Commercial St. N.E. 

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., July 24-30

Salem Public Library

585 Liberty St. S.E.

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Union Gospel Mission

777 Commercial St. N.E.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 5:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

HOME Youth Services

625 Union St. N.E.

Hours: Monday-Thursday 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m.


694 Church St. N.E.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Recovery Outreach Community Center

2555 Silverton Road N.E.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Contact reporter Caitlyn May at [email protected]. Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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