“Heat Advisory” Issued; Plus, Tips On Keeping Cool In Burien

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The National Weather Service issued a “Heat Advisory” for the northwest on Tuesday (July 6), as the summer season gets “switched on,” with temps predicted to hit highs around 90 degrees or so toward the end of the week.

First, the weather service’s advisory in its full glory:

Statement as of 3:23 PM PDT on July 06, 2010

… The first stretch of hot weather is expected across western Washington this week…

The cool and moist onshore flow pattern which dominated western Washington weather through the Fourth of July has come to an end this week… as a strong upper level ridge and offshore develop over the area. Offshore flow will increase tonight and Wednesday helping maximum temperatures to rise into the 80s to mid 90s the next few days.

Latest computer models indicate that the upper level ridge will weaken this weekend and onshore flow will return. This is the more typical onshore flow we see during the Summer that helps to moderate the warmest weather patterns. Although temperatures will cool down a little this weekend… they will remain warmer than normal.

Temperatures in the 80s to mid 90s can cause some heat related health problems even in western Washington. As temperatures climb into the 90s… sunstroke… heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity. This is especially true for the elderly. Some precautions that will reduce the risk of heat related illness include but are not limited to… reducing strenuous activity… wear lightweight and light colored clothing… and drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids. Also… never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles during hot weather.

***The following are the record high temperatures and year of occurrence for select locations. Refer to the forecast for the expected high temperatures on these dates.***

Wednesday /Thursday /Friday

Sea-tac 88 (1953) 87 (1985,52) 91 (1985)

Olympia 95 (1953) 94 (1952) 95 (1985)

Bellingham 88 (1953) 85 (1952) 85 (1979,52)

Quillayute 80 (1996) 82 (1968) 85 (2007)

Hoquium 81 (1996) 87 (1956) 83 (2002)

Sandpoint 82 (1996) 82 (2006) 81 (2003)

And now, some ways to beat the heat in Burien, along with some common sense tips:

1. THURS.. July 8: Go to Lake Burien Memorial Park and enjoy a FREE concert from Chasing Jane, along with sprinklers at 3pm and 7pm courtesy Burien Parks; here’s their Tweet from Tuesday, July 6:

#Burien Hot enough for you? Cool off at Thursday Concert In The Park. We will have sprinklers going at 3PM and 7PM

2. Find a cool place to hang out. The main branch of the Burien Library has air conditioning, as does the new Community Center and numerous other publicly-accessible buildings around the area.

3. Red Cross Safety Tips:

With temperatures expected to rise this week, the American Red Cross encourages individuals and families to take the necessary precautions. The very young and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the heat, so it is important that families and friends check on them regularly.People with chronic health issues are also at greater risk and need to take special care to stay healthy in the heat.

Prevent Heat-Related Illness:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing (light colors reflect away some of the sun’s energy) and plenty of sunscreen. Wear a hat or use an umbrella to help shield you from the sun.
  • Carry water or juice and drink frequently, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Make sure to check on youth and elderly to make sure they have enough fluids.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed by a physician.
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do something physically demanding, try to do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. Take regular breaks to cool off.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible [EDITOR’S NOTE: We encourage all Readers to stay inside, reading the B-Town Blog as much as possible; best bet is to just sit there and press the “Refresh” button on your browser to see the latest stories.].
  • Be vigilant about water safety if headed to a pool or beach. Never leave a child unattended near water and keep lifesaving gear handy.
  • Watch for signs of life-threatening heat stroke. The person’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
  • Signals of heat stroke include hot, red, and usually dry skin, changes in consciousness, rapid, weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.
  • If you or someone you know experience symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by wrapping wet sheets around the body and fan it. If you have ice packs or cold packs, place them on each of the victim’s wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels. Watch for signals of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.
  • Don’t forget to protect your pets.
  • Limit exercise to the coolest part of the day, typically early in the morning. Even in the coolest part of the day, watch for signs of trouble. Glassy eyes and frantic panting indicate a dog needs help.
  • Make sure your pet has constant access to shade and an endless supply of cool, clean water.
  • Never leave a pet in a car – even for a few minutes.
  • Be vigilant for signs of heat stroke, which is deadly for pets. Symptoms include sluggish and non-responsive demeanor, bright red and/or dry tongue and gums, vomiting or diarrhea and/or unusual breathing patter, heavy panting, or high heart rate.  If your pet displays these symptoms, get emergency medical attention.

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