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Hot forecast predicts upper 80s in Seattle this week, 90s to the south

Elaine Thompson
A man races away as a jet begins to spray toward him at the International Fountain at the Seattle Center during a heat wave Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Seattle.

Unusually hot weather is expected in western Washington this week, and officials are urging the public to take precautions.

Seattle and Tacoma could see highs in the upper 80s on Wednesday. From Olympia south, daytime highs could be in the 90s – especially inland.

That heat could pose a risk to people, “particularly if you’re vulnerable to heat impacts,” said Brent Bower, senior service hydrologist with the Seattle office of the National Weather Service. “Those with poor health or the very young and the very old – their body has a harder time regulating temperatures.”

Libraries and other public buildings can provide a cooler place to rest, especially for people without air conditioning.

And Bower says people should be careful not to leave pets or children in parked cars.

“The motto is look before you lock,” he said. “Cars and vehicles can get extremely hot very quickly.”

On an 80-degree day it takes less than 20 minutes for the inside of a car to exceed 100 degrees. And the temperature keeps climbing to fatal levels.

If the forecast holds, Wednesday will be the second day this year that Sea-Tac Airport has exceeded 85 degrees. But in recent years, that threshold has been crossed more than two dozen times each year – up from many years in the past.

A cooler marine push is expected to come in Thursday and bring temperatures back into the 70s by the end of the week.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.