After four days of sweltering heat, relief is on the way. The National Weather Service said cool marine air was expected to move into the region overnight, causing highs to reach "only" into the mid-80s starting today and through the weekend.
After four days of sweltering heat, relief is on the way. The National Weather Service said cool marine air was expected to move into the region overnight, causing highs to reach “only” into the mid-80s starting today and through the weekend.
That means the region’s previous record for consecutive days with highs of at least 90 degrees is safe — for now. We fell one day short. The previous streak of five days was reached twice, in July 1941 and August 1981.
An excessive-heat warning for the Seattle area expired at 6 o’clock last night, although that may have been a hollow victory for those who were once again lulled to sleep by the sound of a cooling fan and awoke to sweat-soaked sheets.
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But overnight lows will begin dipping to a more seasonable low 60s this weekend, said Jay Albrecht, meterologist at the Weather Service. Nonetheless, Public Health — Seattle & King County and other health departments are still advising people to avoid excessive exposure to the heat. On Thursday, health officials announced the first heat-related death in King County during the heat wave.
“We know that heat puts additional stress on people with underlying chronic conditions, just like the flu and other infectious diseases,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County, said in a news release.
“Tragically, excessive heat exposure can be fatal, and it’s possible that we may see additional deaths before the heat wave ends.”
The cooling trend is good news for those heading over to the Seafair Hydroplane Races and Airshow this weekend. The Navy Blue Angels will be soaring over Lake Washington from 1:30 to 2 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and hydroplanes will be speeding across South Lake Washington most of each day.
“It will be warm, but tolerable,” said Cliff Mass, a University of Washington meteorologist and professor.
Although the weather service is predicting the marine layer will bring low clouds and fog Friday and Saturday, Albrecht said they’re expecting it all to burn off by noon, leaving clear skies just in time for good visibility for Seafair.
Seafair staff will provide the event’s vendors with extra water to make sure everyone stays hydrated, said Seafair spokesman Dan Wartell. He said people are welcome to go swimming in the lake to escape the heat.
“We encourage everybody to cool themselves off in the water,” he said.
While many people are rejoicing at the falling temperatures, there are some who are a little disappointed — like Deborah “Debs” Gardner, 32, of Ballard, who has taken advantage of the heat by cooking eggs and quesadillas on the dashboard of her car.
On Thursday, Gardner and her friends went swimming at Green Lake as they waited for the heat to cook food they had left in pans on the dashboard. The Ballard resident said she tried using her oven a few days ago, but it turned her already-sweltering house into an oven.
“If I can sit here under the shade beneath a tree while my food cooks in the car, why not?” Gardner said.
She said the heat inside her car cooked her food all the way through — even the yolks in her eggs.
The heat wave caused some other strange happenings.
The University Bridge remained shut to boat traffic from 6 p.m. Wednesday to Thursday morning because the heat caused the bridge’s steel and concrete to expand.
Richard Sheridan, spokesman for the city’s Transportation Department, said officials decided to keep the bridge closed to avoid damaging the structure.
The bridge began opening to boats again on Thursday, and transportation officials made sure to keep the core temperatures of the bridge low by applying water throughout the day.
Jean Guerrero: 206-464-2311 or email@example.com
Seattle Times staff reporter Sanjay Bhatt contributed to this report