Heat wave on the way this weekend

National Weather Service issues 3-day excessive heat warning for area, beginning Saturday; says temperatures will be 'dangerously hot'

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an excessive heat warning for all lower-elevation areas in Southwest Washington, including Camas and Washougal, this weekend, Saturday morning, June 26 through Monday evening, June 28. 

“Hot daytime temperatures, combined with warm overnight lows, will result in high heat risk and heat-related stress,” the NWS cautioned. 

The NWS said “dangerously hot temperatures” ranging from 98 to 103 degrees are likely over the weekend. Some areas may be even hotter, with temperatures rising to between 103 and 108 degrees. 

The temperature will drop overnight, but will still be warm with overnight lows between 65 and 70 degrees predicted this weekend. 

“A few spots such as the Columbia River Gorge and the Portland-Vancouver metro area may only cool down to the middle 70s Saturday and Sunday night,” the NWS cautioned, adding “extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”

The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) has pulled together a list of emergency cooling shelters available in Southwest Washington, including the following sites in Camas-Washougal: 

  • Washougal City Hall,  1701 “C” St., Washougal: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday;
  • Washougal Library, 1661 “C” St., Washougal: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
  • Washougal Community Center, 1681 “C” St., Washougal: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
  • Bethel Community Church, 1438 “B” St., Washougal: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
  • Columbia Ridge Assisted Living, 2300 W. Ninth St., Washougal: daily through 8:30 p.m.

CRESA offers the following tips for staying safe during the heat wave: 

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible unless you’re sure your body has a high tolerance for heat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill or may need help. If you need help, arrange to have family, friends or neighbors check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water.
  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler; then gradually build up tolerance for warmer conditions.
  • Take frequent breaks when working outdoors.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun block and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes when outdoors.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
  • Avoid sunburn: Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

CRESA also warns that, even on very hot days, many of our local rivers and lakes remain cold and can immobilize even strong swimmers. 

“Know the water: Washington waters are cold enough to cause hypothermia even on the hottest summer day,” CRESA warns. “Hypothermia can weaken even strong swimmers.”

The agency adds the following tips for recreating in or near water this weekend and over the summer months: 

  • Know your limits: drowning often occurs when a swimmer tires.
  • Wear a life jacket when swimming anywhere without lifeguards or whenever you boat, jet ski, go tubing or do other water sports.
  • Ensure children wear life jackets. Inflatable toys and mattresses will not keep children safe. By law, children 12 and younger must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or vest on all vessels 18 feet or smaller.
  • Never leave children unsupervised in or near water, even for a minute. Drowning can happen swiftly and silently. Supervision requires complete attention, even if other adults are present.
  • Always avoid alcohol when swimming or boating.

The NWS says people should try to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, never leave pets or young children unattended in a vehicle and check in on relatives and neighbors who might be more impacted by the heat. 

To follow CRESA and see more tips and cooling stations in Clark County, visit cresa911.org. For the latest NWS forecasts and weather warnings, visit weather.gov