Seattle area sizzles in the 90s: Even road buckles from heat

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SEATTLE -- The temperature crept over 90 degrees Sunday afternoon, prompting some folks to hit the city's parks and beaches to soak up the sun and others to try to cool off.

For these puppies at Green Lake, it really was the lazy, "dog days' of summer.

The temperature hit 92 degrees at 5:53 p.m. at Sea-Tac Airport, the National Weather Service said.

According to, this is the earliest date it has been this hot in Seattle since 2009.

King County Roads said the high temperatures caused two concrete panels of a Renton road to buckle. A portion of SE 128th St. (Cemetery Rd.) had to be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between 164th Ave. SE and 168th Ave. SE. near the Renton city limits.  Repairs are under way.

And the heat is expected to continue through the early part of the week.

But that was nothing compared to other areas of the western U.S.

In Death Valley, Calif., resident Mike Wood says he's used to the heat. But when his running shoes begin to melt, he starts to pay attention.

"The ground temperatures here can approach 100 degrees so you're talking about pretty much boiling the shoes ... everything that kind of holds the shoe together kind of comes apart," Wood said.

Wood hit the pavement running despite temperatures that hit 127 degrees on Saturday -- the hottest point on Earth for the day. The National Weather Service is predicting another high near 127 for Sunday as a record-setting heat wave bakes the Southwest into the work week.

Madison Park got a bit crowded on Sunday, at least down by the water.

Already, the hot spell has settled over Phoenix (119 degrees) and set a record in Lancaster, Calif. (111 degrees). Las Vegas tied its record high of 115 degrees Saturday.

US Airways had to cancel 18 flights Saturday because of the heat, spokesman Todd Lehmacher said. He said planes are certified for takeoff up to 118 degrees, but the temperature crept up to 119 degrees in Phoenix on Saturday.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for large parts of California, Nevada and Arizona, and a heat advisory for other parts of Nevada.

Civic and emergency officials throughout the Southwest say if there was ever a time to worry, this would be it. The reason isn't just the oppressive heat that is plaguing the region: It's the fact it is expected to hang around, and possibly even get worse, over the next few days.

At Green Lake, folks got some exercise in and shed some clothes, too.