Editor’s note: This is a live account of heat wave updates from Monday, June 28, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated.
Temperatures broke Seattle’s all-time record high Monday afternoon, reaching a sweltering 106 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 104 degrees, which was set Sunday.
Some areas in Western Washington, including Seattle, could still reach 110 degrees Monday, according to Jeff Michalski, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle. And some areas surrounding Seattle could get closer to 115.
“Within that range [110 to 115] is a possibility,” Michalski said.
And don’t expect temperatures to dip substantially by Tuesday, he added. The current forecast predicts that temperatures in the Seattle area will be in the low to mid-90s, which is around 20 degrees above what is normal for Seattle this time of year, Michalski said.
The so-called heat dome — a heat wave that sits over one region — has stretched across the western United States for nearly two weeks, setting record temperatures. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for most of Western Washington, effective through Monday evening.
Throughout Monday, on this page, we’ll post updates about rising temperatures in Seattle and throughout the Pacific Northwest, how residents are coping, and resources provided for those trying to beat the heat.
Pacific Northwest’s record-smashing heat wave primes wildfire, buckles roads; health toll not yet known
That’s the new measure for the hottest day in Seattle.
Temperatures at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday afternoon eclipsed Seattle’s previous record of 104, set on Sunday, bringing a dangerous and unprecedented heat wave to a crescendo in a wilting city.
Temperatures could drop at a record rate as a surge of marine air brings a measure of relief early Tuesday morning.
For those without air conditioning, it’s unlikely to provide deliverance. Typical high temperatures check in around 74 degrees this time in June, according to Matthew Cullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle.
Highs in Seattle Tuesday are expected to be in the 90s, Cullen said, adding that there would be “plenty of sun.”
And east of the Cascades, temperatures will only intensify on Tuesday, when they will peak. Meteorologists say temperatures could match and perhaps exceed the state’s record of 118.
The heat wave has sent dozens to emergency rooms in Seattle; fouled the air with ozone; primed the state for wildfire; buckled roadways, causing traffic jams; and set the stage for disaster for northwest salmon.
Heat wave worsens Northwest’s already low blood supply; donors urgently needed
Hospitals have been told to conserve blood as Seattle’s record-breaking heat wave deals a severe blow to the region’s already precarious blood supply, according to Bloodworks Northwest.
The regional blood bank on Monday reported supply has dropped to emergency levels as donations have dropped off sharply. In the past 24 hours, the supply has dropped 25% due to 200 appointment cancellations and mobile blood drives that were halted because of the heat.
“The available blood supply is not enough to get us through a rapidly worsening situation that is changing by the hour,” Bloodworks executive Vicki Finson said in a statement.
Bloodworks has advised hospitals to begin conserving blood because there may not be enough for all patients, according to Finson.
Amazon sends Kent warehouse workers home
As temperatures spiked, Amazon sent workers at one of its Kent warehouses home with pay Monday afternoon, spokesperson Maria Boschetti confirmed.
One worker in the facility Monday morning estimated interior temperatures hovered at close to 90 degrees, and noted that not all of the floor fans Amazon installed last weekend to keep workers cool were still functional.
Boschetti did not immediately respond to a question about whether the warehouse closure was due to excessive heat, but said site leadership was monitoring the building’s temperature.
At another, larger Amazon warehouse in the same complex, work continued unabated, even though “everyone’s forehead was sweating,” said one worker, who added he was proud he’d made it through the day.
State Patrol now helping put out Cedar Hills fire near Issaquah
The Washington State Patrol is now helping local fire crews respond to a blaze near Issaquah that had grown past 25 acres as of 6 p.m.
State Patrol Chief John Baptiste authorized state mobilization as the fire, burning between Cedar Hills and the Maple Hills, began threatening homes, power lines and timber in the area, according to a tweet.
By 4 p.m., the blaze had spread to 2 acres of trees and thick brush. A couple of hours later, State Patrol reported it continued to grow.
Power lines have been secured and helicopter drops will begin soon, Eastside Fire & Rescue tweeted around 6:30 p.m.
Heat wave stretches Seattle firefighters thin
The heat wave has all of Seattle Fire crews stretched thin.
Firefighter Matt Jung and Lt. Patrick Hubschman, with the department’s mobile health unit, spent Monday in the blistering heat distributing ice packs and water across Seattle. That’s on top of their normal duties helping individuals reach medical assistance, shelter and other social services.
“The board has been full,” Hubschman said, while taking a break at the downtown fire station Monday afternoon. “Lots of people with heat related stuff, lots of people with general fatigue... all the hotels are completely sold out in town, so folks are kind of running out of resources.”
The team’s outreach work with people experiencing homelessness in the city, is an even more important job on the hottest day in Seattle history. Add the excessive heat, it felt like an impossible task.
“I would love to have 10 of us today to do a lot more of that outreach, but there's just no capacity,” Jung said. “If I had any hair I'd pull it out probably.”
Lanes crumble on northbound I-5 in Shoreline
The Washington State Department of Transportation blocked crumbled lanes at northbound Interstate 5 in Shoreline, in two different locations Monday afternoon, making a total of four incidents in a three-mile area.
Morgan Balogh, WSDOT assistant regional administrator, blames the sudden damage mainly on the declining pavement, which is more than 65 years old, cracked and rutted by heavy trucks and nonstop car traffic.
Triple-digit temperatures caused these already weak concrete panels in north Seattle and Shoreline to push against each other and buckle upward, he said. Wherever the concrete was already flaking away, the heat would make it peel or crumble faster this week, he said.
“We get buckling of the freeway when it’s hot – but not like the last few days,” Balogh said. A pavement failure last week in Shoreline is also suspected of being heat related.
Rapid-response teams Monday planned to jackhammer those bumps, remove the ruined concrete, then fill that gap using a temporary asphalt patch known as “cold mix,” Balogh said. A more durable patch, such as from polyester concrete, will be scheduled later at the same time as a repaving contract.
“We aren’t seeing any problems in our new pavement. It’s a preservation issue,” he said. WSDOT has been repaving parts of the freeway in its “Revive I-5” program but the work is years overdue and not totally funded.
Power outages pop up throughout Western Washington
Power outages have started to pop up throughout the region, with more than 100 active blackouts hitting Western Washington homes as of 5 p.m., according to energy companies.
Puget Sound Energy, the state's largest energy utility company, is reporting 116 active outages impacting more than 6,000 residents, with many clustered in Seattle and South King County cities like Kent, Auburn and Federal Way. In Pierce and Thurston counties, at least 500 people had lost power by early evening, including those near Olympia and Tacoma.
Farther north, at least 250 homes in Everett and Mill Creek had lost power as of 5 p.m., according to Snohomish County's public utility district.
Earlier this afternoon, Puget Sound Energy said it believed it had enough energy for all its customers but encouraged people to conserve energy by unplugging electronics, closing drapes during the hottest parts of the day and using cold water for washing machines and dishwashers.
Metro, Transit Union hand out water to bus drivers
Drivers for King County Metro and Sound Transit buses are continuing to work, even through record-breaking heat in the Seattle area.
At transit bases, Metro supervisors are providing water for transit operators who need it, said Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer. He added that buses are air-conditioned.
“We really appreciate how operators have kept people moving during this stretch of hot weather,” he said.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 are also handing out water bottles at transit centers, park and rides and other spots where buses park.
Lisa Nault, who has worked for Metro for 29 years and operates the Route 545 bus, said she gave out hundreds of bottles over the weekend.
“It's unprecedented heat that hardly anybody has experienced and we want people to be safe,” she said. “It's really dangerous. And I don't think people realize how dangerous it is.”
Ken Price, president of the union, said drivers have been appreciative of the extra care.
“It’s trying when you’re stuck in traffic and the sun is beating down on you,” he said. “But we still gotta load people and get them to where they got to go.
Woman's body recovered from Stillaguamish River
Search and rescue officials on Monday recovered the body of a 58-year-old woman who went missing while swimming in the Stillaguamish River, marking the third death that occurred Sunday in a lake or river in King and Snohomish counties.
The woman jumped in the river in Stanwood to swim Sunday afternoon and hadn’t been seen for more than an hour when the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office responded around 5 p.m. Witnesses said she was swimming without a flotation device and no on one shore had seen her in distress, according to the sheriff’s office.
Her body was recovered around noon Monday. Her name has not been released.
Two people died Sunday at King County lakes as sweltering residents flocked to beaches in search of a respite from a record heat wave.
One man was pulled from Lake Washington in Kirkland on Sunday morning, according to fire officials. A second man drowned at Angle Lake in SeaTac, according to a sheriff’s spokesman.
Freeway concrete panels crumble in heat
Concrete panels on freeways crumbled in the heat Monday, an unprecedented breakdown that caused sudden traffic jams.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed lanes for emergency repairs on I-5 in the case of Northeast 145th Street and Northeast 130th Street areas. At another site, where I-705 and I-5 meet in Tacoma, the state said it would wait until nightfall to fix the road. Earlier Monday morning, the softer asphalt surface of Highway 544 buckled in Everson, east of Bellingham.
Seattle’s transportation department sprayed water on bridges to keep their steel decks from expanding so much that the drawspans fail to raise and lower correctly.
Crews battling brush fires throughout region
Crews are battling brush fires in King and Snohomish counties Monday amid concerns about dry conditions and heat exhaustion as temperatures remain above 100 degrees.
A fire has spread to two acres of trees and thick brush between Cedar Hills and the Maple Hills community south of Issaquah, according to Eastside Fire & Rescue. The agency said it is being “mindful of crews overheating during this heat.”
A car on northbound Interstate 5 in Snohomish County caught fire, which spread to nearby trees and brush just north of Marine View Drive, the Washington State Department of Transportation said. Two lanes of northbound I-5 remain closed as crews respond to the fire.
Fanning out the fur: How pets cooled off during Seattle heat wave
It’s almost the dog (and cat) days of summer, and this week it’s especially hot for our furry friends.
Seattle Times reporter Paige Cornwell asked readers to send photos of their pets attempting to get cool during record-breaking heat. Dozens of people responded with images of their four-legged companions dramatically lounging in front of a fan, hesitantly swimming in pools and ravenously devouring ice cubes.
He rotated the fan and then laid down in front of it 🤣 pic.twitter.com/XoBElnupp7— Amber Thomas (@ProQuesAsker) June 27, 2021
We aren’t ‘weather wimps.’ Seattle just isn’t prepared for deep heat. Why would it be?
Sir Mix-a-Lot has a couple of choice words for the folks out there in social media land calling Seattleites weather wimps.
“Many here don’t have AC … dumb (expletive),” said the Seattle native who’s best known for his rap hit “Baby Got Back.”
Justin Shaw is a little more diplomatic. The citizen forecaster behind the Seattle Weather Blog said he would politely invite the name-callers to spend a night or two in a Seattle house with no air conditioning.
“Let them try to sleep in a 92 degree bedroom,” he said. “Then they can come talk to us and tell us how they feel.”
Seattle reaches 106 degrees, making today the hottest on record
It's the hottest day in Seattle on record.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reached 106 degrees around 2 p.m., surpassing the record of 104 degrees, which was set yesterday.
Canada’s new heat record is 114 degrees in B.C., amid forecasts of even hotter weather
Lytton, a village in British Columbia, became the first place in Canada to ever record a temperature over 113 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday — and experts are predicting even hotter weather to come.
The temperature in Lytton, 58 miles north of Hope, B.C., soared to just under 115 degrees Sunday, according to Environment Canada, a government weather agency.
Canada’s previous records for hottest temperature, both 113 degrees, were set in Yellow Grass and Midale in Saskatchewan on July 5, 1937.
“It’s warmer in parts of western Canada than in Dubai. I mean, it’s just not something that seems Canadian,” Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CTV News on Saturday.
Even in the metropolitan hub of Vancouver, B.C., parks, beaches and pools have been flooded with residents eager to cool off as the temperature hit 89 degrees at the local airport on Sunday — a record in a coastal city that usually has mild weather.
Northwest heat wave having effects across U.S.
The brutally hot weather that’s already pushed U.S. Northwest temperatures to record highs is the latest example of searing weather around the globe as climate change drives temperatures to record levels. Canada set an all-time high on Sunday. Moscow last week was its hottest since 1901, and the United Arab Emirates recently hit 125.
The warmth in the Pacific Northwest is building under a so-called heat dome. Kinks in the jet stream have pinned summer weather in place, leading to heat waves and drought, plus storms and flooding elsewhere – all underscoring the risks authorities expect to intensify through the season.
An excessive heat warning is also in effect for Northern California, which is forecast to climb as high as 113 degrees. The state’s power grid operator has warned that it may need to ask for conservation to avoid rolling outages.
The weather frying the Northwest also poured heavy rain across central states and will bring a heat wave to New York and the Northeast, with a string of coming days rising to the 90s. New York’s Central Park should reach 92 on Monday, and the highs should stay above 90 through Wednesday. Heat advisories stretch from Bangor, Maine, where humidity will make temperatures feel more like 100 or higher, down to Philadelphia.
Air quality alert issued because of ozone levels
An air quality alert is in effect for parts of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, particularly the Cascade foothills, because of significant spikes in ozone (smog) levels caused by high temperatures.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued the alert through Monday evening. The air quality is expected to be unhealthy for everyone, but especially for sensitive groups, particularly from Issaquah eastward and areas around North Bend and Enumclaw, according to the National Weather Service.
Ozone can trigger health issues such as chest pain, coughing and congestion. Those considered at risk should stay inside when possible.
Levels should come down as temperatures decrease starting Tuesday, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
Marysville implements mandatory water curtailment
The City of Marysville has implemented a mandatory water curtailment for residents in part because of high water demand during Monday’s heat wave.
The high demand, along with a well-water pump that failed at the Stillaguamish Ranney Well, has caused “concern trends” for the city’s water storage supply, the city said Monday afternoon.
The Snohomish County city is limiting all non-essential city water use, like landscape irrigation and street washing. Cooling stations, such as the Marysville Spray Park, will remain open.
Customers are being told to limit all non-essential household and recreational water use, like filling swimming pools or watering laws. Residents should delay laundry and dishwasher usage, if possible, the city said.
Washington cherry pickers work to save crop in heat wave
YAKIMA — Orchardists in Central Washington are trying to save the cherry crop as a heat wave grips the region, using canopies, deploying sprinklers and sending out workers in the night to harvest cherries.
Temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees this week, with a predicted high near 115 degrees on Tuesday. The heat wave hit as Washington’s cherries are ripening, the Yakima Herald reported.
Cherry growers are moving 500,000 boxes a day, said B.J. Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission. So far, the cherries appear to have good color and sugar, he said. This heat wave is a new experience, he said.
“We have not been in these waters before,” Thurlby said. If the cherries get too hot, they will sunburn and dry out, he said.
There are strategies to take the edge off the heat. Sprinkler systems under cherry trees can, through evaporation, knock off 10 to 15 degrees from the air temperature around the fruit, Thurlby said.
But it’s not a foolproof solution.
Shade netting is also another strategy that orchardists use to combat heat and birds. The large polyethylene sheets can knock down temperatures 10 to 15 degrees as well as prevent sunburn on fruit
Northwest braces for hottest day of intense heat wave
PORTLAND, Ore. — With an unprecedented and dangerous heat wave gripping the Pacific Northwest, officials in Portland, Oregon, shut down light rail and street cars due to high temperatures, districts halted summer school bus service and people braced for possibly the hottest day of the scorcher.
In Eugene, Oregon, the U.S. track and field trials were halted Sunday afternoon and fans were asked to evacuate the stadium due to extreme heat. The National Weather Service said it hit 110 F (43 C) in Eugene, breaking the all-time record of 108 F (42 C).
Portland, Oregon, reached 112 F (44 C) Sunday, breaking the all-time temperature record of 108 F (42 C), which was set just a day earlier.
New cooling centers open in Seattle
Seattle Parks and Recreation will open two new cooling centers Monday afternoon in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District and at Magnuson Park with air conditioning, restrooms and water fountains.
Both cooling centers will open at 2 p.m. and close at 8 p.m.
The View Ridge room at the Brig (Building 406) will operate as a cooling center at Magnuson Park. The building is located northwest of the Tennis Center at Sand Point.
The International District/Chinatown Community Center is located at 719 8th Ave. S.
For animals needing to be brought to an air-conditioned site, an emergency animal cooling shelter has been set up at the Enumclaw Expo Center, run by the Washington State Animal Response Team and King County Search and Rescue.
Pets that are not dogs or cats must be in their own enclosures, according to the response team. The emergency shelter has been set up in the expo center’s south parking lot.
The nearest cooling center for humans is about a mile away, at the Enumclaw Senior Center on Cole Street.
Seattle Public Schools suspends meal services because of excessive heat
All Seattle Public Schools meal-distribution sites will be closed Monday because of the excessive heat, the school district said.
The majority of the district’s meal distributions are outdoors, so officials were concerned about the risks to students and families, as well as staff and food safety, Chief Operations Officer Fred Podesta said in a news release. The district normally provides free sack breakfasts and lunches for students at schools throughout the city during the summer.
Meal distribution sites are expected to resume Tuesday, when forecasted temperatures will be in the low 90s and upper 80s.
How is your workplace responding to the Seattle-area heat?
The Seattle Times wants to hear from you: How is your workplace responding to Seattle’s historic heat?
Some questions we’re asking: Did your workplace close? Were added precautions put in place? Did business boom or dwindle? Did the air conditioning break?
We also want to know how businesses around you have responded.
Have they raised or lowered prices in response to the heat? Are they limiting business or perhaps letting more people in to stay cool? Have you seen anyone relax COVID-19 protocols to cope with the heat?
Send stories and tips about your workplace, or other businesses in Seattle, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also provide your phone number. We may reach out to you later today.
Temperature climbs to 100 degrees, marking another record
The temperature in Seattle has reached 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
This marks the first time on record that the city has had three consecutive days when the temperature reached triple digits. The temperature at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hit 100 degrees around 11 a.m. Monday.
Cooling centers in King County are now open
Cooling centers are now open in many King County communities. Find one near you.
Chill at a funeral home in Columbia City
For a more unconventional South Seattle cooling center, the Columbia Funeral Home is opening between 9-5 pm today in Columbia City to help neighbors stay out of the heat.
The facility at 4567 Rainier Avenue South has capacity for over 100 people, cold water and a therapy dog named Kermit.
In a post about the cooling center, the funeral home said "our chapel is a nice 68 degrees and will allow for social distancing. Free bottles of water. We welcome you."
9 a.m. and it's 94 degrees at SeaTac
Seattle just broke the daily record of 91° for June 28 that was set in 2008 by hitting 94 degrees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by 9 a.m. on Monday, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Some places to get wet in record-breaking heat
Here are some of the many places to get wet in Seattle, King County and Puget Sound.
Seattle wading pools opening Saturday (12 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Dahl Field, Delridge Playfield, Soundview Playfield, South Park Community Center, Volunteer Park: Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
- Bitter Lake Playfield, East Queen Anne Playground, Lincoln Park, Powell Barnett Park, Van Asselt Playground: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
- Green Lake Park will open July 2: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Seattle spray parks opening Saturday (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily)
Beacon Mountain, Jefferson Park, John C. Little Sr. Park, Lower Judkins Park, Georgetown Playfield, Highland Park, Lake Union Park, Miller Community Center, Northacres Park, Yesler Terrace Park
Seattle beaches with lifeguards (12 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends)
Madrona, Magnuson, Matthews, Madison, Mount Baker, Pritchard, Seward, West Green Lake
Seattle outdoor pools
- Mounger (Magnolia Playfield): 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
- Colman (Lincoln Park): 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Stay cool in a library near you
There’s nothing like staying cool and finding some good reads. Branches of the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System with air conditioning will be open — including some that are opening for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Social distancing and masks are still required, regardless of vaccination status.
Here are the Seattle Public Library branches with cooling centers.
- Ballard, Beacon Hill, Central, Douglass-Truth, Lake City: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Delridge: noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday
- Greenwood, High Point, Magnolia, Rainier Beach: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
- South Park: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
- International District/Chinatown: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Delridge: noon to 6 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday
The Broadview Branch, which was planned to open Sunday through Tuesday is closed due to unexpected maintenance work.
More heat records shatter Monday in Portland; ‘cooling’ starts Tuesday
Record-setting, dangerous heat continues Monday in Portland as another all-time high temperature record is sure to get crushed. The good news? This should be the final brutally hot day, for now.
Cooler, but still hot, air is expected to make its way in from the coast beginning Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. The system that had been holding tortuously hot temperatures over the Pacific Northwest should shift east of the Cascades by the evening.
Overnight low temps dropped very little. Some locations may see records for warmest overnight low broken for this date.
This makes for a very warm start to what will likely be another record-breaking day. Portland is expected to reach 114 degrees as measured at the airport. Most locations across the central Willamette Valley and northward into southwest Washington will see one final day in triple-digit heat.
The rest of the week will feel relatively “cool” in Portland as high temperatures will lower into the upper 80s to low 90s.
How are you staying cool as Washington faces scorching temperatures?
Weekend temperatures are expected to reach record-breaking highs across the region. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat watches and warnings throughout the West. Meteorologists say the heat wave could last through early next week, upending life for many in Washington.
With triple-digit temperatures in the forecast, we want to hear how you are staying cool. What questions do you have for us about the heat? What would you like to see in our coverage of these historic temperatures?
Record-shattering 108-degree high in Seattle on Monday
108! That's how hot meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Seattle are saying Monday is going to get.
Along with the extreme heat, high fire danger is expected along and east of Interstate 5 as conditions remain dry and easterly winds increase this afternoon.
If we can make it through today, though, we should all start to feel some almost immediate relief by Tuesday when the high is expected to drop about 17 degrees to 91 degrees, said meteorologist Matthew Cullen on Monday.
Overnight lows, too, will cool by several degrees by Wednesday morning.
Catch up on the past 24 hours
Today will be the steamiest day yet as a hot wind sweeps down the slopes of the Cascade mountain range, setting us on a pace to shatter the brand-new record set yesterday in the Seattle area. Then we may see "the biggest cool-down ever" (but the forecast is, ahem, not what anyone here would normally consider cool). Homeless people and those in low-income housing are struggling in the dangerous conditions, and Washington's fruit growers are fearing for their crops.
Two people died in King County drownings yesterday as sweltering residents flocked to lakes. The first death happened at Kirkland's O.O. Denny Park, and the second at Angle Lake in SeaTac.
Resources to help you stay cool:
- Take precautions against heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and be aware of how to recognize them.
- Get a better night's sleep with these six cooling tips.
- Head to a place that can help you chill out. Our guide includes an interactive map.
- Stay safe on the water. Know how to prevent dangerous situations — and, if you get in over your head, remember what rescuers call the 1-10-1 rule.
- Help your pets stay healthy in this heat.
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