Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are long and narrow bands of enhanced water vapour flux concentrated in the lower troposphere. Many studies have documented the important role of cold-season ARs in producing heavy precipitation and triggering extreme flooding in many parts of the world. However, relatively little research has been conducted on the warm-season ARs and their impacts on extreme heatwave development. Here we show an anomalous warm-season AR moving across the North Pacific and its interaction with the western North American heatwave in late June 2021. We call it an “oriental express’’ to highlight its capability to transport tropical moisture to the west coast of North America from sources in Southeast Asia. Its landfall over the Alaska Panhandle lasted for more than two days and resulted in significant spillover of moisture into western Canada. We provide evidence that the injected water vapour was trapped under the heat dome and may have formed a positive feedback mechanism to regulate the heatwave development in western North America.