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Seattle area still running hot as record highs bring a sweaty weekend

David Kroman, The Seattle Times on

Published in Weather News

SEATTLE — The Seattle area exceeded 90 degrees Saturday for a fifth straight day, continuing a heat wave that has triggered an excessive heat warning through Sunday from the National Weather Service.

The record high for July 30 in the Seattle metropolitan area is 96, set in 2009, according to meteorologist Samantha Borth. Temperatures toed that line Saturday, hitting 93 at 3 p.m., and Borth said it was possible that the record could fall.

Normal for this time of year is upper 70s, said Borth, although in a changing climate and on the heels of last year’s heat dome, area residents could be forgiven for questioning what qualifies as normal these days. The region typically sees around three days of 90-degree heat each year.

The sizzling weather will likely hang around through Sunday for a sixth day in a row in the 90s, before beginning a gradual cooldown next week. On Monday, temperatures will likely dip into the 80s, said Borth. Beginning Tuesday, temperatures could fall into the lower 70s, below historic norms.

Borth advised people to seek shade and air conditioning whenever possible, to stay hydrated and to avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day. Overnight temperatures will stay in the mid-60s — not cool enough to provide significant relief from the daytime highs, said Borth.

Local libraries, parks, senior centers and community centers are open to those in need of some shelter from the heat. Spokesperson for Seattle Public Libraries, Bennett Barr, said usage increases during heat waves.

“All but a few branches are reporting a modest but significant increase in usage, with patrons coming in to cool off, fill up water bottles and get out of the sun,” he said. The library system hasn’t been as busy as it was during last year’s heat dome, but managers say they’re fielding calls from people checking to see if their local branch is open with the air conditioning running, just in case, said Bennett.

The big event Saturday is the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade, returning to downtown for the first time since 2019 due to COVID. The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m., when some of the worst heat will have passed. By early afternoon Saturday, camping chairs, couches and even an inflatable pool lined Fourth avenue near Westlake, as thermometers passed the 90-degree mark.

 

Jamie Suderman from Tacoma claimed her spot by 9 a.m., beneath a pair broad-leaved trees. She was the sentry on behalf of her family, who would be joining her later. Suderman was a regular to the parade before its two-year hiatus.

“When you’re a long time [Seafair attendee], you sit on the west side of the street,” she said, where the sun doesn’t beat down as hard.

Devin Andell braved the east side, starting at 11:30 a.m. He was doing everything he could to keep himself and his dog cool.

“We’ve got money to go get more ice and more drinks,” he said. It was worth it to see the Seafair pirates, he said.

To the south of Seattle, the air will be steamier, with a likely high of 97 in Olympia, said Borth. Portland, Oregon, could hit triple digits.

Cities east of Lake Washington will see temperatures similar to Seattle. Farther east, over the Cascades, Ellensburg hit 105 degrees Saturday.

For those in need of relief, the coast will be significantly cooler this weekend. From around Aberdeen to the west, a marine layer of cool air is likely to keep temperatures in the 70s.

(c)2022 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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