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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Heat wave could bring 102-degree weather to Spokane on Thursday

UPDATED: Mon., July 27, 2020

Swimmers rest on the boom around the swimming area Monday at Q’Emiln Park beach Monday on the Spokane River in Post Falls as temps rise past 90 degrees.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Swimmers rest on the boom around the swimming area Monday at Q’Emiln Park beach Monday on the Spokane River in Post Falls as temps rise past 90 degrees. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s going to be a hot one.

The National Weather Service says temperatures in Spokane could top 102 degrees on Thursday as a heat wave builds across the region. Laurie Nisbet, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Spokane office, said that would tie the city’s heat record for July 30, set in 1929.

The last time Spokane saw temperatures over 100 degrees was in August 2018, according to the weather service.

Also on Thursday, the mercury could soar to 105 degrees in Moses Lake, 104 in Lewiston, 103 in Omak, 101 in Wenatchee and 99 in Coeur d’Alene, according to the weather service. Temperatures in most of the region are expected to be in the 90s on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Nisbet said the Spokane area is expected to remain dry until temperatures fall slightly next weekend, though thunderstorms could roll through the Lincoln County towns of Reardan and Davenport on Wednesday night.

The weather service is urging residents to drink plenty of water, dress for the heat, avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest times of day, seek out air-conditioned spaces and take extra care with kids, pets and the elderly.

Dr. Daniel Getz, the chief medical officer at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, echoed that advice and emphasized that people should plan their days in advance, making sure to apply sunscreen a half-hour before going out and carrying the right types of beverages.

Water, sports drinks and fruit juices with relatively low sugar content are good options, he said. Soda and beer are not.

“Choosing the right drinks I think is important,” Getz said. “Caffeinated beverages and alcohol tend to be a popular choice in the summer, and those are the last things that we want folks to drink.”

Getz, who used to run the emergency department at Sacred Heart, said patients are commonly admitted for heat-related illnesses.

“I think one of the lures of Spokane is the access to readily available outdoor activities, and people will sometimes underestimate. They think that they can handle more than they can, and certainly we see quite a few people in the emergency department with heat exhaustion and even heatstroke,” Getz said.

Those who begin feeling faint or vomiting after spending time in the heat should hydrate and seek medical attention, or get to a cooler place in the shade or indoors, Getz said. He also suggested taking a cool shower or bath.

“I think people have to remember that heatstroke can kill people or permanently disable them, so it’s not a light issue,” he said.

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