Stay cool during hot weather this weekend

Temperatures are predicted to reach 91 degrees this weekend, the first heat wave of the season that has Salemites flocking to buy air conditioners.

The National Weather Service’s Portland office has put a heat advisory in place from Saturday, May 13, at 2 p.m. through May 15 at 8 p.m. covering portions of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, including the Willamette Valley.

The service described the oncoming temperatures as “unseasonably warm to hot.”

Friday temperatures are forecasted to reach a high of 84, and dip to a low of 55 at night, according to the service as of 12:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday are both forecasted to reach a high of 91 in the afternoon with temperatures cooling to the low 60s at night and in the early morning.

The temperatures are close to Salem’s Mother’s Day record of 93 degrees in 1939. Between 1892 and 2022, the holiday saw an average temperature of 68.2 degrees, according to the weather service.

This weekend’s weather is expected to be much warmer than last Mother’s Day, which reached a high of 53 degrees.

Hot temperatures can cause heat illness, and the weather service recommends that people and pets drink plenty of fluids, seek shade and air conditioning, wear loose clothing and reschedule strenuous activities for early morning or the evening.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include fatigue, irritability, and nausea, according to Marion County. Confusion, slurred speech and unconsciousness are signs of possible heat stroke.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines to protect employees from heat related illness, including required breaks and access to water, rest and shade.

This early in the year, some cooling options remain closed.

The city’s splash pads, located at parks around Salem, are turned on near the end of the school year in June. Parks staff need to inspect each facility and check for necessary repairs before they can be turned on, said spokesman Trevor Smith.

Free Fridge Salem is encouraging residents to stock their fridges and pantries with waters and cold treats, fruit and sports drinks for the unsheltered community, according to Friday Instagram posts.

See a list of their current locations below, posted to their Instagram on Friday. 

A screenshot of Free Fridge Salem’s Instagram story on May 12, showing updated fridge and pantry locations (Free Fridge Salem)

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the sunshine or stay cool this weekend, check out our events calendar below.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.