At 103, Seattle has hottest day on record
Northwesterners more accustomed to rain and a cooler climate sought refuge from a heat wave Wednesday as Seattle recorded the hottest temperature in its history and Portland, Ore., fell just short of its own record.
The National Weather Service in Seattle recorded 103 degrees, breaking a previous record of 100, set in 1941 and repeated in 1994.
Jay Albrecht, a meteorologist with the weather service, said this is the hottest Seattle has been since 1891.
Meanwhile, Portland ventured into its third day of triple-digit heat, hitting 106 degrees -- just short of the all-time high of 107, which it has reached four times, most recently in 1981.
Doug McDonnal, a meteorologist with the weather service in Seattle, said the stretch of hot weather has lasted longer than usual. Wednesday was the fifth consecutive day above 85 for Seattle, he said.
Throughout the region, shade, icy treats, cold water, air conditioning units and fans were in high demand.
Darren Wilson, 38, a concrete finisher from Puyallup, Wash., started his Seattle street-paving job at 5:30 a.m., three hours earlier than usual, to avoid the heat.
“I’m drinking lots of water,” he said. “When I get off work, I’m going to my buddy’s house and jump in his pool.”
Portlanders were trying to stay cool every which way. Public fountains were clogged with children. Libraries swelled with people trying to stay out of the sun. And cooling centers for seniors were open late.
Shirley Markstaller, 71, parked herself in front of a fan and read the paper at a cooling center in downtown Portland.
She doesn’t have an air conditioner at home, so she’s been coming to the center every day for the past week or so. “I just thought, where’s the coolest place?” she said.
At the Tails-A-Wagging doggie day care facility in Bellingham, Wash., owner Angi Lenz and her staff kept dogs comfortable with fans, air conditioning, ice toys and water slides.
“We have a waiting list to get in this week because of the heat,” Lenz said.