The South Sounds two-day heat wave peaked at 94 degrees Thursday, which forecasters said will be as hot as its going to get for the rest of the year.
Todays high is also predicted to be 94.
These are not record-breaking temperatures, according to the National Weather Service. Todays record high is 96; Thursdays was 98. Still, an excessive heat warning will remain in effect through tonight.
A warning of increased fire danger issued Wednesday expired Thursday morning as humidity rose and winds died down, though the Weather Service said to be on the lookout for potential trouble from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday, due to thunderstorms predicted throughout Western Washington.
Its dry enough that if lightening strikes, its probably pretty easy for a fire to start, Weather Service meteorologist Allen Kam said.
Temperatures should drop significantly over the weekend. Saturdays temperatures wont be higher than 81 and Sunday will dip to 76, forecasters said.
In the meantime, people did what they could to say cool.
Those who sought relief at higher elevations were disappointed. Temperatures at Longmire on Mount Rainier reached the low 90s and even Paradise hit the low 80s. But the spray parks, lakes and community pools saw an uptick in visitors Thursday.
They need to open another one, Enedina Perez said from a lawn chair inside Tacomas Kandle Pool. The kids love it.
She sat in the shade with her 9-month-old daughter, Monica, as her 4-year-old son, Junior, played in the wading pool with a friend. It took 30 minutes waiting in line for their group to get into the pool, but they planned to go again today.
Kandle Pools attendance was 1,211 Thursday, and Stewart Heights Pools was 1,220.
The Fife Community Center didnt see such a crowd. The air-conditioned building was one of Pierce Countys emergency cooling stations for hot days. There werent many takers Thursday.
At the playground next door, 5-year-old Lily Lehman and others ran through sprinklers and had a water balloon fight. It was last day of the centers summer playground program, which provides activities and lunch in the park for kids and their families.
The programs last day also was the hottest, volunteer Caitlin Holland said.
On the really hot days we turn on the sprinklers, and since it was extra hot, we had water balloons today, she said. They really like to throw them at us, not at each other. Its all about getting the big people wet.
Lily didnt know anything about that, but she said the water balloons were something her swimming lessons Thursday at the Fife pool next door werent: Cold.
Tips for keeping your pets safe in the heat:
Leave your pet home. Dogs, especially heavily muscled breeds, are especially prone to heat stroke. Even a small amount of exercise or activity can be dangerous in the full sun.
Never leave your dog in a parked car during warm weather, even if it feels comfortable to you. Even in the shade with the windows open, a parked car quickly becomes dangerously hot.
Provide plenty of fresh water and constant shade if they are outdoors.
Leave the hair: A trim might feel nice, and extra brushing is a good idea, but do not shave your pet the coat protects dogs and cats from the heat and sunburn. Brushing your cat might help relieve the heat.
Dont let your dog stand on hot pavement if you have to walk your dog, make it short and keep moving. Their pads can burn quickly, just like bare feet.
Know the signs: Excessive or heavy panting, difficulty breathing and weakness are the first symptoms of heat stroke. Drooling, stupor, and collapse can occur quickly, followed by seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. At the first sign of heat stress, move your pet indoors or into the shade, apply cool water to the pads and underbelly, and call your veterinarian.
Source: The Humane Society for Tacoma-Pierce County