With record-breaking temperatures forecast Wednesday, people will want to make sure not to leave pets, and of course young children, in their cars.
In the South Sound away from the water, the temperatures could soar into the low 90s.
When it’s hot outside, temperatures in vehicles can rise dramatically.
According to the National Weather Service,
The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively transparent to the sun’s shortwave radiation and are warmed little. This shortwave energy, however, does heat objects it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to more than 200 degrees F.
These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Both Lynnwood and Bellevue police are reminding people this week that they should never leave pets or people unattended in a hot vehicle.
A news release from the city of Lynnwood said that even with windows open and water available, the interior of a vehicle on an 80-degree day can rise to over 100 degrees within minutes.
Since 2015, police have been allowed to break windows to get into vehicles to rescue a person or a pet. The law does not apply to citizens though, so anyone that breaks a vehicle window could face legal action or financial responsibility for the damage. Anyone who sees a child or pet unattended inside a hot vehicle should instead call 911.
The heat danger doesn’t just apply to cars. Those who already have health issues or are sensitive to the heat – as well as pets, the elderly and children -- shouldn’t be left unattended outdoors, either.
If you need respite from the heat, the Pierce County public library system is offering people the option of coming inside libraries to cool off.
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