Heat Warning in effect as historic heat wave will plague West Coast

Heat Warning in effect as historic heat wave will plague West Coast

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued an Excessive Heat Warning and is forecasting triple-digit temperatures over a 4-day span this week.

The warning begins Tuesday afternoon and will last through Thursday night, however temperatures are still expected to be unseasonably hot Friday and Saturday and the warning may be extended.

By Sunday, highs should retreat back into the 70s.

The Weather Service is conservatively forecasting 101 degrees for Olympia on Thursday afternoon, although some models disagree and put the temperature closer to 105 degrees. Olympia’s all-time record high is 104 (set in July 2009) and that could be broken this week.

Temperatures in the Portland metro area are expected to top 110, and Seattle will hover around 95-100.

The American Red Cross has the following advice for heat waves:
 – Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
– Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
– Eat small meals and eat more often.
– Avoid extreme temperature changes.
– Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, lightcolored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
– Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
– Postpone outdoor games and activities.
– Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
– Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
– Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
– Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from
the heat

 

There are three types of heat-related illness to be aware of during a heat wave:

  • Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a
    person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool
    itself.

    • Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
    • Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
      immediately.
    • Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving
      care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by
      applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck
      and armpits.
  • Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating
    during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.

    • Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy
      sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
    • Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and
      apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is
      conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person
      drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
    • If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1
      or the local emergency number.
  • Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or
    abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and
    electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble
    with the heat.

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