Concerns about a summer drought took a back seat to suntans and swimming holes as Bellingham began a week of sunny skies and daytime temperatures predicted in the mid- to high-70s.
Sunday’s daytime high was 80 degrees, breaking a record for Bellingham of 79, set in 2003.As of 5 p.m., the daytime high on Monday, June 8, was 79 at Bellingham International Airport, 3 degrees shy of the record set in 1955.
It was even hotter inland in areas like Lynden and Sumas on Monday, where unofficial daytime temperatures reached 82, according to Accuweather.com.
Here are some tips to keep in mind during the warm spell:
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▪ Bellingham’s spray parks at Cornwall and Fairhaven parks are scheduled to open Monday, June 15, and stay open from 1 to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day. Birch Bay Waterslides have been working on a weekend schedule only, but it opens daily for the season June 20 through Sept. 6.
▪ Bellingham’s voluntary outdoor water schedule began June 1; outdoor watering of lawns and gardens can double the average demand for drinking water in the city, from 10 to 20 million gallons a day, city officials said. Resident who lived at odd-numbered street addresses are asked to water only on Wednesdays, Fridays and/or Sundays. Residents at even-numbered street addresses should water only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and/or Saturdays. The city advises no outdoor watering on Mondays, to let reservoirs recharge.
▪ If you’re out and about, take care to protect your skin. Dermatologists warn people that, in the case of sunshine, there can be too much of a good thing. Besides the obvious danger of long-term exposure leading to skin cancer, some people can develop skin rashes when they are exposed to intense sunlight, especially in the late spring when it’s likely your first prolonged exposure, according to WebMD.com.
The condition, called photodermatosis, affects about 10 to 20 percent of the U.S. population. Common symptoms are red bumps or blisters that itch or burn and sometimes brings on chills, headache, and nausea. Certain medications, such as some antibiotics and blood pressure medications, can also bring on photodermatosis.
Prevention is simple, according to WebMD: Wear protective clothing and a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.