Sweltering Temperatures Expected in County, Region; Cooling Centers Open


Brace yourselves. Another heat wave is coming, though this time less severe than the record-shattering wave experienced back in late June.

The Twin Cities late this week will see temperatures in the high 90s before cooling off over the weekend, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Seattle. An excessive heat warning went into effect Wednesday for much of the region and is expected to expire Saturday evening.

Temperatures were forecast to hit 98 on Thursday and 100 degrees Friday at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport.

“It’s looking like Saturday will be a little cooler, but it will still be in the low 90s. Then, starting next week, we’ll be back to your regularly-scheduled 80s,” said Mary Butwin, a meteorologist with NWS Seattle.

Butwin said this weather system is similar to the one experienced in June, just less severe: A “heat dome” triggered by high-pressure atmospheric conditions combined and trapped with hot oceanic air is resulting in prolonged oppressive heat, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Cooler temperatures will be observed along the coasts and up in the high mountain ranges, according to NWS Seattle.

Dozens of wildfires are currently burning in Washington, Oregon and in northern California. The Puget Sound got a taste of smoke just days ago, but intermittent rain showers and a new weather system blew them out.

Butwin said while it’s possible a thin layer of wildfire smoke could accumulate early next week, it’s not expected to be thick.

“Right now, we’re not expecting any impact to the air quality,” she said, noting that may change down the line depending on wildfire activity.

The all-time highest temperature recorded at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport during the month of August was 103 degrees, set back in 1981. Butwin said it’s highly unlikely that record will be broken.

With records going back to 1902, the Chehalis-Centralia Airport has recorded temperatures above 100 degrees only five times.

The all-time, highest-recorded temperature of 107, set back in July 2009, was actually tied during the historic heat wave on June 28. Previous reports had the heat clocking in at 106 degrees at around 3 p.m. that day.

As temperatures in Lewis County this week are expected to reach their highest points since late June’s heat wave, buildings across the county will once again open as “cooling centers” to provide folks with safe, cool respite. These locations are open to the public.

For Glenoma area residents interested in utilizing the cooling center locations, contact Phil Congdon at 360-498-5337.

For an updated list of cooling centers which may have changed since The Chronicle’s Wednesday deadline, visit lewiscountywa.gov/departments/emergency-management.

According to a news release from the Lewis County Division of Emergency Management (DEM), anyone can be overcome by extreme heat which can lead to heat-related illnesses. However, infants, young children, older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk.

Signs of heat stroke include: very high body temperature (above 103), rapid, strong pulse, red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), throbbing headache, dizziness, upset stomach, confusion and passing out.

Signs of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, upset stomach, vomiting and fainting.

The release also encourages pet owners to keep a close eye on their pets during the heat wave, offering water and shade when needed. Pets should not be left in the car or in any place with high temperatures. Signs a pet may be under stress from high heat include: excessive panting, drooling, weakness and reluctance to move.

Lewis County Cooling Center Locations:

Timberland Regional Library

Centralia and Chehalis locations:

Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Mountain View (Randle):

Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday: Closed

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Thursday: Closed

Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Thursday: Noon to 7 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


River Valley Community Health

424 Williams St, Mossyrock

Hours of Operation: Thursday through Friday only, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The Salvation Army

303 N. Gold St, Centralia

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Fire District 10 – Packwood

12953 U.S. Highway 12, Packwood

Hours of Operation: Thursday through Friday only, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Glenoma area

Contact Phil Congdon at 360-498-5337 if interested in utilizing the cooling center locations.


Thurston County Cooling Centers:

Bucoda Community Center

202 S. Main St

Open as needed (for Bucoda residents only). Well-behaved pets welcome.

Contact 360-584-6285


Tenino Fire District 12

187 S Hodgen St. SE, Tenino

Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Tenino Timberland                Library

172 Central Ave. West

Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.