Weather

South Sound could hit 90-plus degrees by Sunday

The sun rises at the Longbranch Marina in the Key Peninsula on Monday. Temperatures throughout the South Sound are expected to rise to 90 degrees this weekend for the first time in 2016.
The sun rises at the Longbranch Marina in the Key Peninsula on Monday. Temperatures throughout the South Sound are expected to rise to 90 degrees this weekend for the first time in 2016. dmontesino@thenewstribune.com

The Puget Sound region could see its first 90-degree days of 2016 this weekend as a ridge of high pressure brings clear skies and high temperatures.

Tacoma is expected to reach 89 degrees Saturday and 91 on Sunday, said Johnny Burg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle. Olympia is expected to reach 90 on Saturday and a record-breaking 94 on Sunday.

The average high temperature on June 4 and 5 for both cities is around 68 degrees, Burg said.

The region’s first 90-degree day typically falls in late June or early July, Weather Service meteorologist Josh Smith said.

“And of course, there’s some years where it doesn’t happen at all,” Smith added.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer suggested three things area residents should do in hot weather:

▪ Wear flotation devices and stay in pairs if you’re going into area rivers and lakes, because currents are high and water temperatures are still low.

“Just because it’s hotter outside doesn’t mean the water is any warmer,” Troyer said.

▪ Don’t leave pets or kids in cars with the windows up. Temperatures can rise to well above 100 degrees inside cars on hot, sunny days.

▪ Check on older neighbors who don’t have air conditioning. Make sure they have the windows open.

Troyer said the Sheriff’s Department will have its boating and marine deputies on standby. The department has deputies work weekend overtime shifts in Pierce County parks during the summer so that people are not taken away from their regular duties.

“When the weather’s nice like that, our call volume goes up dramatically,” Troyer said.

Staying hydrated, especially with water, is important when the weather gets hot, said Nigel Turner, who leads the Tacoma-Pierce County Health District’s Communicable Disease and Emergency Preparedness division.

“It’s important to get ahead of that. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty,” Turner said. “You know you’ve drunk enough when you’re peeing a lot and it looks normal.”

Turner also suggested avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day, and advised people to stay indoors or find places with air conditioning.

Said Turner, “Be mindful that hot weather can have serious health implications, especially with people who are vulnerable: the very old, the very young and people with chronic illnesses.”

Heat stroke is the most serious condition caused by hot temperatures, Turner said. It can be characterized by a body temperature above 103 degrees, hot and dry skin, a strong and rapid pulse, confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea or loss of consciousness.

Metro Parks Tacoma spokesman Michael Thompson said the district’s 10 spraygrounds, which opened Monday, will likely be busy, and shady city parks — especially Point Defiance Park — will be popular.

Thompson said the city’s community centers and the Tacoma Nature Center would be great places to go indoors to avoid the heat.

Pierce County will activate its cooling centers throughout the county, including libraries, if the Weather Service issues a heat advisory, spokeswoman Libby Catalinich said.

A marine push is expected to cool things down by Monday, the Weather Service’s Burg said. Highs then will be around 80 degrees. On Tuesday, temperatures are expected to be about 75 degrees, and by Wednesday, the highs are expected to be back to normal.

The Weather Service expects a warmer-than-normal summer in the South Sound with normal precipitation — about 3 inches of rain from June through August at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — Smith said.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

More online

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health District has more information about what to do when temperatures are high at tpchd.org/hotweather.

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