SPOKANE, Wash. — After Spokane set an all-time record high temperature on Tuesday, temperatures will again sit close to record levels before a slight cooldown.
At 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Spokane International Airport hit 109 degrees and broke the all-time record high temperature for the city. That record, which stood at 108 degrees, has happened twice in history — first on July 26, 1928 then again on August 4, 1961. The forecast for Wednesday stays hot at a whopping 107 degrees. Spokane also hit a high temperature of 105 degrees on Monday.
Richland also recorded a high temperature of 118 degrees on Tuesday. That ties the record for the warmest temperature ever recorded in the state of Washington. The previous record was set on August 5, 1961 at Ice Harbor Dam.
The National Weather Service in Spokane issued an Excessive Heat Warning that will be in effect through Sunday, July 4. Temperatures first climbed into the triple digits over the weekend and will remain this way throughout the week.
An initial small cooldown arrives on Thursday for Spokane, with temperatures dropping back to near 100 degrees in the coming days. While that is still near record levels, it is a decent drop from where we were to start the week.
Temperatures will dip back into the upper 90s by the Fourth of July. Those temperatures are still about 15 degrees above normal.
The weather pattern responsible for all of this heat likely won’t break any time soon. The heat dome moves east in the coming days. While that is good news for finding cooler temperatures in the forecast, a ridge that moves in after the dome will keep temps above average. It's likely the above-normal warmth is here to stay for now, triple-digit heat is expected to hold through the Fourth of July weekend.
This type of heat is rare for the Northwest. Spokane averages just one hundred-degree day each year. That means each hundred-degree day in the forecast has the potential to break a record. Put all of those days together and this heat wave becomes historic in yet another way. The current forecast has at least eight days of temperatures above 100 degrees. The record number of consecutive hundred-degree days stands at six.
Avista customers lose power amid heat wave
Avista customers are experiencing "targeted, protective outages" as a result of the heat wave. At the height of power outages on Monday, more than 9,000 Avista customers throughout the Spokane area were in the dark.
Some of the Avista customers who lost power on Monday experienced outages on Tuesday, June 29. Some customers may have experienced more than one outage with no less than one hour in between outages.
Information about how to prepare for outages is available on Avista's website.
How to avoid heat-related illness
Here are some health and safety tips to avoid heat-related illness:
- Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
- Eat more frequently, but make sure meals are balanced and light.
- Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
- Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.
- Make sure pets have plenty of water.
The early warning signs of heat stress can include decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress can include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and/or difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray them with water and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.
Editor's note: KREM previously reported that Spokane hit 106 degrees on Monday, June 28. Spokane actually hit 105 degrees, tying the previous record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of June