A heat wave this week could push temperatures to record levels. The National Weather Service is warning people to stay cool and be careful.
Get ready to sweat and complain.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning along with a prediction for temperatures that could climb close to triple digits midweek.
And before any transplants or visitors start mocking Pacific Northwesterners for what could seem to be hyper-heat sensitivity — after all, July and August are typically the hottest months nationwide — please remember that only 15 percent of Seattle-area homes have central air conditioning.
In fact, only one major metro area has fewer air-conditioned homes than Seattle, and that’s San Francisco, according to The Seattle Times’ FYI Guy, Gene Balk.
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“This is definitely not a town that was built on air conditioning, and usually we don’t need it,” said Dana Felton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. “We have only hit 100 or more on three days in 120 years of keeping records, and on average we have only three 90-degree-plus days a year.”
Felton said a potentially dangerous high of 99 is predicted for Thursday, which is expected to be the hottest day of the week. The all time record high for Seattle is 103 degrees, he said.
The excessive-heat warning means that the unusually high temperatures can result in some heat-related illnesses and people should take precautions, he said. Pets and people, for example, should not be left in cars, which can quickly heat up to lethal temperatures.
“This a rare situation, and there could be some problems because of the hot temperatures,” Felton said.
It will feel more uncomfortable than usual because it’s not expected to cool down much overnight, said Felton. He said the lows are going to be “very warm.”
“When the average high is 77 and you are only cooling off to the mid to upper 60s, it’s going make the situation feel worse for a lot of people,” he said.
Folks who were here two years ago, in 2015, may recall another unusually hot year with 12 days of 90-degree plus weather.
“That’s the most we ever had in a year,” Felton said. “It ebbs and flows, but that was a really warm one.”
According to AccuWeather, the heat wave is expected to cover most of the West Coast from California to Washington to British Columbia.
South of here,…