Two men bask in the sun while fishing for bass at Silver Lake in Everett on Friday. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Two men bask in the sun while fishing for bass at Silver Lake in Everett on Friday. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett nears temperature record amid freakish May heat wave

Seeking to beat the heat, people flock to cool attractions such as the Forest Park water playground, which opened early.

EVERETT — An unusual May heat wave pushed temperatures to near-record levels Sunday, and it’ll be even hotter Monday.

Sunday’s high of 82 was 2 degrees shy of the record for May 14, set in 1973. The forecast calls for a high of 88 degrees today.

Parks, splash pads and fountains across Snohomish County were full of people trying to cool off. Responding to the heat wave, the Everett Parks and Recreation Department activated the water playground at Forest Park earlier than expected, the department said in a Facebook post.

On Sunday, Forest Park was packed with both local residents and those from a little farther away.

“We actually live on Whidbey Island and there’s only one tiny splash pad, so we come down here a lot,” said Stephanie Sorenson, who was there with her 4-year old. “We can spend like six hours here and it’s a great way to burn off energy and get them tired. It’s way bigger than the stuff we have on the islands, so we just love Everett.”

Like many longtime residents in the area, Sorenson said the weather feels like it’s changed.

“Each year it gets a little hotter a little earlier,” Sorenson said.

Everett and numerous surrounding areas — including Mount Vernon, Edmonds, Marysville, and Monroe — remain under a National Weather Service issued heat advisory until 8 p.m. Monday. Arlington and Mount Vernon both reached 85 Sunday.

“This will pose a moderate, to localized major, risk of heat related illness,” the weather bulletin said.

The National Weather Service said in the statement that extra precautions should be taken in working or spending time outside. It advised knowing the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke., which include confusion, slurred speech, profuse sweating and extremely high body temperatures.

Numerous requests for emergency service regarding animals locked in hot cars also came over the police scanner on Sunday. Fully closed cars are much warmer than outside air temperature in sunny, hot weather.

Snohomish County has 19 listed cooling centers in operation. Usage was low in some areas — the Rosehill Community Center said it had not seen any usage of its cooling center on Sunday midway through the afternoon.

Air conditioning is available at those locations, something of a rarity in the state. According to data from at U.S. Energy Information Administration survey in 2020, only 53% of residences in the state had air conditioning.

Higher than normal temperatures could continue into Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046;; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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