Children playing in field May

Children play in the field near Pete's Pond in La Grande during a STEM event on Friday, May 12, 2021. Spring in the Grande Ronde Valley has seen above average temperatures, and the high Wednesday, June 2, was nearly 100 degrees.

LA GRANDE — Temperatures skyrocketed Wednesday, June 2, across Eastern Oregon, reaching triple digits in several cities and setting multiple records.

Wallowa County and Union County reached highs of 95 degrees on June 2, the hottest temperature recorded since early September 2020.

“We just had high pressure in our area and it led to some pretty unseasonably warm temperatures in the area,” Cole Evans, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pendleton, said. “We typically don’t see triple digits this early in the year, but we saw a lot of record breaking temperatures (June 2).”

Hermiston, Pendleton and Redmond all reached at least 100 degrees and set records. Highs in the surrounding area ranged between 90 and 105 degrees. High pressure also explains the low levels of precipitation La Grande and the surrounding area have experienced in recent weeks, Evans said.

However, the Weather Service predicts temperatures are going to cool off in the few days, with average highs next week dropping to the 70 to 79 range.

“That high pressure that’s been causing all of this heat is going to start to break down and move out of the area, so it’ll start to cool down,” Evans said.

These conditions are predicted to bring some isolated thunderstorms to areas of higher elevations in the coming weeks, along with increased precipitation. With the majority of Oregon facing a drought, this precipitation could provide some relief to the dry conditions associated with wildfire activity and extreme temperatures.

Evans pointed out that weather conditions always are subject to change, but residents should be aware of their activity in extreme temperatures.

“We want to keep people mindful of the warm weather, and if people have to go outside, to keep themselves hydrated and not spend too much time in the extreme heat,” Evans said. “With this hot and dry start to the summer, just be mindful of any fire weather concerns if you’re going outside.”

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