SEATTLE — The National Weather Service recorded new daily highs for Seattle, Bellingham and Olympia Tuesday, and three more days of “excessive heat” are still to come. Temperatures hit 94 degrees Tuesday afternoon at NWS Seattle’s official monitoring site at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, besting the reigning July 26 temperature record of 92 degrees, set in 2018.
In the South Sound, Olympia hit 97 degrees, nudging past its 1998 daily record. Up north, Bellingham hit 90 degrees.
While temperatures are unlikely to moderate much before the weekend, the National Weather Service said Puget Sound’s remaining records for the week appear safe, since the upcoming highs to beat exceed the current forecast. Forecasters expect most Puget Sound communities will break into the 90s every day through Friday, before finally knocking off a few degrees over the weekend.
Here are the temperature probabilities for Wednesday:
The nights ahead offer limited relief, and temperatures around Seattle may not dip under 80 degrees before 10 p.m. Overnight lows briefly fell below 70 degrees at Sea-Tac just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, and temperatures were climbing again by 6:30 a.m.
Forecasters expect the risk of heat-related illness, fires and water-related accidents will remain elevated through at least Friday evening.
Here’s where to find cooling centers around King and Pierce counties.
Air quality alert issued for the foothills
Due to the excessive heat, several communities in the Cascade foothills are under an ozone alert, with air quality likely to degrade to the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range in parts of King and Pierce counties, including Issaquah, North Bend and Enumclaw. According to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, spikes in smog levels can trigger chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion and aggravate conditions like bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Air quality in the affected areas should return to normal by Sunday.
Here’s what the agency recommends:
- In the high-ozone areas, minimize time outdoors in the afternoon (1-7 PM). If you cannot stay cool at home or are especially sensitive to ground-level ozone, it may be best to seek shelter elsewhere.
- If you must be outside, limit your strenuous activities such as running, bicycling, physical labor, sports, or hobbies, or do them in the morning or after 7 PM.
- If possible, close windows in your home to keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use it in recirculation mode.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a mall, public library, or community center. Call ahead to make sure they have air conditioning.
- Check with your health care provider for more specific health questions and concerns. As always, seek medical attention if symptoms are serious.
Source: Bellevue Patch