Seattle sweats it out: Dangerous Pacific north-west heat wave pushes temperatures to record highs and prompts thousands to buy air-conditioning units – because they never thought they’d need them

Thursday, August 3, 2017
By Paul Martin

National Weather Service predicts record temperatures in the Pacific north-west
Seattle, Washington, warned to expect highs of around 104 degrees
Residents scrambled for air-conditioners they’ve never needed before
Thursday’s low is expected to be Seattle’s warmest in 123 years

3 August 2017

The Pacific north-west is seeing temperatures nearing the triple digit mark for the first time in decades, sending residents scrambling to buy air-conditioners.

An excessive heat warning is in effect for Seattle Thursday as temperatures continue to climb through the day to near 100 degrees.

Forecasters had warned that Seattle could see its highest temperatures since the 1890s. The city has recorded only three days at 100 degrees or higher in the more than a century, according to the weather service.

Even the lows are high. The National Weather Service says ‘preliminary low in Seattle is 70. If it holds, it would be our 2nd warmest minimum temperature in 123 years of Seattle area records.’

The Pacific Northwest’s largest city opened about 30 cooling centers in air-conditioned libraries and senior centers. Seattle officials also encouraged people to use more than two dozen wading pools and spray parks.

Residents are unprepared for such excessive heat as they are snatching up air-conditioners for the first time.
Seattle does not normally experience such high temperatures, so only a third of homes have air-conditioning units.

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