The dangerous heat wave continues on the West Coast

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Extreme heat is the deadliest natural hazard in the US

Millions of people on the West Coast are facing a continuation of intense early-season heat for several days, forecasts show.

Washington state began breaking temperature records at the start of the weekend. On Sunday, Seattle could reach 90 degrees for the first time this year, which would also break the daily record of 88 degrees. Highs in Portland and Medford, Ore., could also break records before the weekend is over.

These temperatures are arriving well in advance, more than a month, before when they usually start to rise.

The region, known for its typically cool and rainy climate, has been experiencing more uncharacteristic heat waves and wildfires in recent years.

On August 14, 2021, a sign indicates a cooling center at Kellogg High School in Portland, Oregon.

Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

The temperatures could increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, especially since most homes in the region are not equipped with central air conditioning.

High temperatures increase further on the coast. Fresno, Calif., is forecast to approach 100 degrees on Sunday, with highs of 95 to 100 degrees for at least the next five days.

About 12 million people are under heat warnings along the West Coast.

The most extreme heat is a indicator of climate change caused by manaccording to scientists.

PHOTO: West Coast Heat Wave Weather Map for May 14-15, 2023.

West Coast Heat Wave Weather Map for May 14 and 15, 2023.

ABC News

Extreme heat is the deadliest natural hazard in the US

More than 230 U.S. locations have seen the annual number of minimum-death hot days, temperatures at which health risks also begin to rise, 21 more days on average since 1970, according to an analysis by Central Climate.

While the South and Southeast tend to be the riskiest hot spots, increases in days above the minimum local mortality temperature were seen in all regions of the US, according to Climate Central.

ABC News’ Tracy Wholf contributed to this report.

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