A heat wave this week could push temperatures to record levels. The National Weather Service is warning people to stay cool and be careful.

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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 about 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.

“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.

Tips for hot weather

    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
    • Never leave children or pets unattended in cars.
    • Apply sunscreen if you are going to be outdoors.
    • Stay inside in air-conditioned areas if you are more susceptible to heat.
Source: National Weather Service

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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, temperatures are expected to be 5 to 15 degrees above normal, topping 100 degrees over multiple days in parts of California, Idaho and Oregon.

Temperatures should begin to lower as we head into the weekend, according to the weather service.

With no rain in sight, the city’s march toward the record-breaking dry streak of 52 days without measurable precipitation — which could be broken Aug. 8 — continues unabated.