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Shaking off the heat

Hottest summer days for the last five years (Graphic by Molly Quinn)
Hottest summer days for the last five years (Graphic by Molly Quinn)

Unseasonable temperatures have people, pets heading to lakes, pools and fountains to cool off

As temperatures soared to near the century mark on Monday, people in and around Spokane turned to a time-honored tradition for beating the heat: They got all wet.

Monday’s official high was 99 at Spokane International Airport. Coeur d’Alene reported 96 degrees. Felts Field in East Spokane hit 100.

Eight children in the North Hill neighborhood gathered around a hose and a pair of plastic pools to keep cool during the hottest part of the day.

“Lovely weather we have here,” said Michelle Kluss, 16.

Ian Cassidy, 11, said he couldn’t remember a day that was so hot.

But Levi McLaughlin, 16, grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in California and knows something about the heat. “This is not hot,” he said.

In downtown Spokane, Josh Lockhart, of Kimberley, B.C., took his wife and two small children to the Rotary Fountain in Riverfront Park. The family is visiting Spokane while Lockhart takes a master’s degree class at Gonzaga University.

A clutch of children stood in the center of the fountain getting drenched by the spray. One boy cruised the play area on his skates. Parents joined the fun.

“It’s cold,” Lockhart said just before his small boy came out of the water shivering.

Forecasters for the National Weather Service are calling for one more day of temperatures in the upper 90s to lower 100s. The airport should see a high of 98, while city neighborhoods could reach 100. The record high for Spokane on July 1 and 2 is 102 degrees, both set in 1924. The average high is 79.

The heat wave eases to about 94 on Wednesday, 91 on Independence Day and 84 on Friday in Spokane.

Henry the dog shakes off the water of Fish Lake while wading with owner Ashley Flannery on Monday in Cheney (S-R PHOTO: Tyler Tjomsland)

A dry cold front on the July 4 holiday is likely to kick up winds and raise fire danger across the region, forecasters said. The cold front will also cause humidity levels to fall, making the heat seem more comfortable. Monday’s relative humidity was 24 percent during the hottest part of the day.

A heat advisory remains in effect until 10 p.m. today. Forecasters said heatstroke is a concern and that people should avoid prolonged exposure as well as strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.

Temperatures are expected to stay above normal through early next week, with highs in the upper 80s on Sunday and Monday.

Tags: heat, weather