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Extreme heat is a serious issue that causes significant individual and collective health, safety, and economic costs. Some populations are more vulnerable to extreme heat, and extreme heat has an outsized impact on socially and politically marginalized populations such as low-income households and communities of color.

More Washingtonians will be vulnerable to extreme heat in the future due to the state’s aging population, urbanization, and climate change. Climate models project 4 to 6°F summer warming in the Pacific Northwest in the 2050s relative to the last half of the 20th century and the number of extreme heat days is projected to increase on the order of five-fold by the 2050s.

This report will summarize the risks of extreme heat, the drivers of vulnerability, and ways to protect people to take immediate action.


University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, UW's Center for Health and the Global Environment, the Washington State Department of Health, the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, Gonzaga University's Center for Climate, Society & the Environment

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climate change, global warming, extreme heat, heat wave, heat dome, 2021 Northwest heat dome


Environmental Studies


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