Hot Hot Hot

Record-Setting Temperatures Expected This Week

By Graham Perednia / gperednia@chronline.com

Temperatures in Lewis County are expected to break records this week with an extreme heat advisory in effect from Tuesday night to Saturday morning throughout Western Washington. 

The National Weather Service predicts highs will break triple digits on Thursday and be in the high 90s the rest of the week. 

According to weather data from the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, the record high in Centralia for Aug. 3 was set in 1939 at 95 degrees. The record for Aug. 4 is 103 degrees, set in 1981. The highest ever recorded temperature in Centralia was on July 14, 1935, at 104 degrees. The forecast from the National Weather Service for Thursday, Aug. 3, is 103 degrees and for Friday, Aug. 4, is 95 degrees. It’s expected to reach 98 degrees on Wednesday. 

In Chehalis, the record high for Aug. 3 is 95 degrees, set in 1939. For Aug. 4 the record is 99 degrees, set in 1993. The highest temperature ever recorded in Chehalis is 107 degrees on July 29, 2009. The NWS forecast for Thursday is 103 degrees and Friday’s is 95 degrees.

The city of Centralia and Lewis County are expected to have cooling centers open but no information was available at press time. 

Some options to keep cool include cooling centers open in Tenino, which include Tenino Fire District 12 and the Tenino Timberland Library. As for local places to take a dip, there’s the Tenino Quarry Pool, which charges a fee of $2 per person in the Tenino School District and $4 for those outside the district. In Centralia, the splash pad on North Pearl Street is open from around 11 a.m. to dusk. In Chehalis, the Gail and Carolyn Shaw Aquatics Center will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The fee is $5 per person per session. The splash pad is free and open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Due to the forecasted heat, Thorbeckes will shut down all of its saunas and steam rooms to prevent extra heat generation, owner and general manager Dale Pullin said. The temperatures on the second level of the Chehalis facility will also be monitored and fitness classes may be canceled due to the heat. The air conditioning system is well maintained and can handle the extra load, but it gets hotter upstairs, Pullin said. The last time these measures were taken was about 10 years ago with the last round of extreme heat. 

A burn ban is in effect in Lewis County and throughout Western Washington. State parks fires are allowed in designated fire pits in certain sections of the park. Blake Island is the only park where fires are banned and burning is not prohibited year round.  

The Department of Natural Resources and other state and local agencies are asking residents to exercise extreme caution when dealing with any sort of flame.  The Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has published information on how to stay safe when the heat rises to extreme levels. 

The NWS recommends slowing down or postponing strenuous activities for a cooler time of day and wearing loose fitting clothing while eating light food that is easy to digest, such as fruits and salads. 

Here are Additional Recommendations: 

People should also drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages due to the increased dehydration rate. The weather service recommends using air conditioners or spending time in air conditioned locations such as mall or libraries to cool yourself or using electric fans to push hot air out of a room or pull cool air in.

The elderly and children are most susceptible to the heat. Check on elderly relatives and neighbors to make sure they are alright. 

Before getting into a vehicle that has been sitting in the sun, check the temperature of child seats and seat belts to prevent burns. If the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the temperatures inside a parked vehicle can reach up to 123 degrees within an hour. 

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are possibilities in the heat. If an individual is experiencing heat exhaustion he or she will feel faint or dizzy, have cool, clammy skin, be sweating profusely, have a rapid weak pulse, nausea or vomiting and muscle cramps. Action should be taken to cool the person, such as drinking water if fully conscious, taking a cool bath or shower or getting into an air conditioned area. 

If an individual is experiencing heatstroke they will have a throbbing headache, will not be sweating and will have red, hot and dry skin. Their body temperature will be over 103 degrees, they will have a rapid strong pulse, nausea or vomiting and may lose consciousness. Call 911 immediately and take action to cool the person until help arrives if these symptoms emerge. 

For more information about heat safety, visit nws.noaa.gov/os/heat.