Forecasters say Thursday’s weather will kick off a three-day stretch of sunny skies and heat across Western Washington that, in some places, could break record-high temperatures.

Share story

The blistering forecast for Western Washington beginning Thursday, combined with already dry conditions statewide, has meteorologists warning of potentially dangerous fires.

“Things are already dry,” said Dana Felton, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “If any fire does start, it could spread very quickly.”

And beyond that, public-health officials are stressing safety to avoid heat-related illness. Seek air-conditioned buildings and stay hydrated, as well as monitor others, they say.

For outdoor workers, avoid serious heat-related illnesses by:

• Starting work hydrated.

• Drinking as much as a cup of water every 15 minutes.

• Pacing yourself and taking scheduled breaks.

• Monitoring others for symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.

• Wearing lightweight clothing.

• Avoiding caffeine or heavy meals.

The Department of Labor and Industries

Forecasters say Thursday’s weather will kick off a three-day stretch of sunny skies and heat across the region that, in some places, could break record-high temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s.

For the Seattle area, the temperatures could be some of the hottest of the year.

Thursday’s forecast high of 88 degrees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport would match the day’s record set in 1991, Felton said.

On Friday, meteorologists expect 91 degrees, surpassing the day’s record of 89 set last year.

They anticipate the same high temperature Saturday, which would also break that day’s record of 87 set in 1966.

The National Weather Service has issued an “excessive heat warning,” as well as a “fire weather watch” for most of Western Washington. The latter lasts Thursday through Friday evening.

The state Department of Natural Resources banned campfires on all land it protects, including state parks and state forests, effective noon Wednesday through Sept. 30. The department has other tips for preventing fires, too.

To avoid serious heat-related illnesses, public-safety officials say, people should find a cool, shaded area and help if they feel one or a combination of these symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion or lightheadedness. If their symptoms do not improve, they should call for emergency help.

Also, people should monitor friends, family and neighbors, especially children and elderly people who are vulnerable to heat, officials say. Never leave children or pets in a parked car.

The Washington Information Network 211 has a list of cooling centers.

“Drink plenty of fluids,” Felton said. “It’ll be a slow cool-down on Sunday, and then we’ll be back down into the 80s.”