Excessive Heat Warning: Cooling Centers and Pools Open, Heat Safety Information (Updated 8/13)

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle due to forecasted high temperatures above 90 degrees. The warming trend will begin Wednesday and continue through Saturday.

The City of Seattle is working together with our regional partners to prepare for these extreme temperatures including monitoring critical infrastructure like power systems, water systems, roadways, and bridges. In addition, the City of Seattle is monitoring the potential for moderate to unhealthy air quality levels on Wednesday to Saturday.

Cooling centers will be available across the city, and outreach teams are on the ground working with our most vulnerable residents to prevent heat illness in these extreme conditions. You can find a map of locations here.

Heat Safety

We encourage everyone in Seattle to take extreme heat seriously and act with caution this week. Public Health – Seattle & King County recommends taking simple steps to help prevent heat related illness and death:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty. Public drinking fountains are available at parks, libraries, and other spots around the city
  • Keep your home cooler by shutting blinds or drawing curtains. Use fans or air-conditioners, if you have one.
  • Check on your neighbors, friends, and family in the area – particularly seniors and people with medical conditions – to ensure they are not suffering heat illness at home. Cooling centers are available.
  • Avoid outdoor activities if possible during the heat of the day, generally from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
  • Never leave children or pets in a vehicle. Temperatures inside of cars can skyrocket to deadly levels quickly during extreme heat.
  • Use life jackets or other flotation devices on the water to prevent drowning.

Smoke Safety

Air conditioned libraries serving as cooling centers are also equipped with MERV-13 air filtration, providing cleaner air spaces in addition to cooling spaces. People in Seattle looking for cleaner air are encouraged to visit any of the libraries open as cooling centers.. Locations and hours of operation for cooling centers are listed below.

  • Limit Outdoor Activity: Avoid outdoor activity when air quality is poor, especially strenuous activities. If you need to spend time outdoors, wear an N95 or KN95 mask if possible.
  • Care for Sensitive Groups: Infants, children, and people 65 and older, or those who are pregnant, have heart or lung diseases, respiratory infections, diabetes, or are stroke survivors should take precautions against smoke. Contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns or questions.
  • Keep Indoor Air Clean: Keep doors windows closed to keep smoke out. Use fans and air conditioners to keep indoor spaces cool, and set air to recirculate if possible. Use air filtration devices like HEPA filters or DIY clean air fans. Avoid using candles and vacuum cleaners which can add pollution to indoor spaces. 

Cooling Centers

Cooling centers are open across the city at libraries, recreation centers, and other facilities. City-affiliated sites are listed below. Anyone visiting a cooling center should wear a mask and maintain distance from people from outside your household to prevent the spread of COVID. Many local businesses also offer air-conditioned spaces.

Libraries

Non-air conditioned libraries may close early if sustained interior temperatures reach 80 degrees or more. Visit the location page of any library on SPL.org to view a map that shows nearby transit stops, parks, and more.

Air conditioned Seattle libraries open on Wednesday, August 11

Open hours for these locations are from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

  • Central Library, Levels 1, 3 & 5 (1000 Fourth Ave)
  • Ballard Branch (5614 22nd Ave. NW)
  • Beacon Hill Branch (2821 Beacon Ave. S.)
  • Broadview Branch (12755 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW)
  • Douglass-Truth Branch (2300 E. Yesler Way)
  • Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • High Point Branch (3411 S.W. Raymond St.)
  • Lake City Branch (12501 28th Ave. NE)
  • Magnolia Branch (2801 34th Ave. W.)
  • Rainier Beach Branch (9125 Rainier Ave. S.)

Air conditioned Seattle libraries open on Thursday, August 12 (Updated with additional sites)

The Green Lake, Queen Anne, Southwest and University branches, which were scheduled to be open, will be closed Thursday, August 12 due to a lack of air conditioning. Library staff from these locations are being redeployed in order to open additional air conditioned libraries, which are noted by asterisks below. Open hours for these locations are from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

  • Central Library, Levels 1, 3 & 5 (1000 Fourth Ave)
  • Ballard Branch (5614 22nd Ave. NW)
  • Beacon Hill Branch (2821 Beacon Ave. S.)
  • Broadview Branch (12755 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • Capitol Hill Branch (425 Harvard Ave. E.)
  • *Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW)
  • Douglass-Truth Branch (2300 E. Yesler Way)
  • *Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • *High Point Branch (3411 S.W. Raymond St.)
  • Lake City Branch (12501 28th Ave. NE)
  • *Magnolia Branch (2801 34th Ave. W.)
  • Northgate Branch (10548 Fifth Ave. NE)
  • *Rainier Beach Branch (9125 Rainier Ave. S.)
  • South Park Branch (8604 Eighth Ave. S.)

Air conditioned Seattle libraries open on Friday, August 13 (Updated with additional sites, all sites with air conditioning also have air filtration systems for smoke)

The Broadview, Northeast and Southwest branches, which were scheduled to be open, will be closed Friday, August 13 due to a lack of air conditioning. Library staff from these locations are being redeployed in order to open additional air conditioned libraries, which are noted by asterisks below. Open hours for these locations are from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

  • Central Library, Levels 1, 3 & 5 (1000 Fourth Ave.)
  • *Capitol Hill Branch (425 Harvard Ave. E.)
  • *Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW)
  • Ballard Branch: (5614 22nd Ave. NW)
  • Beacon Hill Branch (2821 Beacon Ave. S.)
  • Douglass-Truth Branch (2300 E. Yesler Way)
  • Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • High Point Branch (3411 S.W. Raymond St.)
  • *International District/Chinatown Branch (713 Eighth Ave. S.)
  • Lake City Branch (12501 28th Ave. NE)
  • Magnolia Branch (2801 34th Ave. W.)
  • *Northgate Branch (10548 Fifth Ave. NE)
  • Rainier Beach Branch (9125 Rainier Ave. S.)
  • *South Park Branch (8604 Eighth Ave. S.

Air conditioned Seattle libraries open on Saturday, August 14

Open hours for these locations are from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

  • Central Library, Levels 1, 3 & 5 (1000 Fourth Ave.)
  • Ballard Branch: (5614 22nd Ave. NW)
  • Beacon Hill Branch (2821 Beacon Ave. S.)
  • Broadview Branch (12755 Greenwood Ave. N.)
  • Douglass-Truth Branch (2300 E. Yesler Way)
  • Lake City Branch (12501 28th Ave. NE)
  • Northgate Branch (10548 Fifth Ave. NE)
  • South Park Branch (8604 Eighth Ave. S.)

Seattle Center

Seattle Center Armory is open to the public and is equipped with air conditioning and filtration. View the campus map PDF.  

  • Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily  
  • International Fountain, 10:00 PM – 9:00 PM daily  

Community Centers

Seattle Parks and Recreation will open cooling centers at the following sites with air-conditioning Thursday – Saturday from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM:

  • Rainier Beach Community Center (8825 Rainier Ave S)
  • International District/Chinatown Community Center (719 8th Ave S)
  • Northgate Community Center (10510 5th Ave NE)
  • Magnuson Building #406 (6344 NE 74th St, #406). Magnuson Park Bldg. #406 Belvedere Terrace Room will be available for people with pets. Seattle Animal Shelter staff has teamed up with Seattle Parks and Recreation to supply a limited number of crates for residents needing a cooling center with pets. We encourage residents to bring their own crates to help provide enough space for folks with pets. Please note that the cooling center is not intended to be a drop-off cooling center for pets; pet owners need to stay with their pets at all times to care for them. The Belvedere Terrace Room can host up to 20 pets with owners.

Seattle Parks and Recreation also offers a variety of pools, splash pads, lifeguarded beaches, and other recreational sites. For a full listing of these sites and their hours of operation, visit Seattle.gov/Parks.

Senior Centers

Please call ahead to confirm hours and availability. All sites have air-conditioning unless noted.

  • Central Area Senior Center (500 30th Ave S), Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM; 206-726-4926
  • Greenwood Senior Center (525 N 85th St), Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM and Saturday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM; Dogs Permitted; 206-297-0875
  • Pike Market Senior Center (85 Pike St, Suite 200), Monday – Friday, 8:20 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday – Sunday, 8:20 AM – 1:00 PM; 206-728-2773
  • Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St), Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; Pets Permitted; 206-932-4044
  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center (4655 South Holly St), Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; 206-722-0317
  • Wallingford Community Senior Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 140), Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Pets Permitted; 206-461-7825: Note – this location does not have air conditioning

Day Centers for People Experiencing Homelessness

The following day center locations for people experiencing homelessness are open to the public (with some restrictions), accept pets, and have air-conditioning:

  • Community Drop-In Center – Seattle Indian Center (1265 S Main St suite 105), Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • The Salvation Army Jefferson Day Center (4th & Jefferson), Monday – Sunday, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Urban Rest Stop – Ballard (2014-B NW 57th St), Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Urban Rest Stop – Downtown (1924 Ninth Avenue), Monday – Friday from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM and Saturday – Sunday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Orion Center (1828 Yale Ave), Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 3:30 PM – 7:00 PM and Saturday from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM; Youth only (ages 12 to 24)
  • Mary’s Place Day Center (1831 Ninth Ave), Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM; Women or Women with Children only


Outreach to People Experiencing Homelessness

The Human Services Department’s (HSD) HOPE Team is coordinating outreach efforts with its provider partners to support those living unsheltered during the heat wave. Similar to the their heat response in June, the HOPE Team will be distributing water and basic needs supplies and have transportation resources available to cooling center locations. The HOPE Team is also coordinating outreach efforts with its City department partners, including Health One and Seattle Parks and Recreation. Health One will have unit(s) in operation Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will be adequately equipped with water and other heat-related supplies.

HSD is monitoring the forecast and making preparations, in partnership with Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and King County and Public Health Seattle King County (PHSKC), in case a temporary cooling shelter is activated this week. There are multiple factors that may be weighed in determining when to activate emergency cooling centers/shelters, and may include, but are not limited to: potential for excessive heat and/or temperatures above 95 degrees, length of a hot weather event, an emergency public health declaration, advisory from National Weather Service, and if temperatures remain high overnight.

Outreach to Vulnerable Populations

Seattle HSD Aging and Disability Services (ADS) case managers are making preparations to call their most vulnerable clients—those who live alone and those who may be unable to get out of the heat. Fans are available to clients who need one. Staff have reached out to Seattle Housing Authority management regarding heat.

Older people, adults with disabilities, and caregivers who need assistance should contact Community Living Connections (toll-free 844-348-5464) for professional, confidential information and resources, free of charge (funded by HSD/ADS).

Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Maintaining City Services

Seattle Department of Transportation

Extreme heat can damage our roads as expanding pavement gets pushed up creating “buckles” in the road. After the historic temperatures in late June, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) engineers prioritized repairs based on public safety and impact to the traveling public. Since then, SDOT crews have repaired damaged pavement throughout the city, and are standing ready to respond to the upcoming heat wave. SDOT can only fix road damage that they know about. The public can report road damage by calling 206-684-ROAD, emailing 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or using the Find It, Fix It app

SDOT crews also plan to spray cool water on Ballard, Fremont, and University Bridges throughout the afternoon starting Wednesday, August 11 to help reduce the risk of the draw bridges’ movable steel parts expanding and getting stuck. Travelers should plan for brief closures of similar length to normal draw bridge openings. SDOT will continue these cool water baths as long as temperatures remain above 85 degrees.

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light anticipates adequate resources to meet load increases associated with expected high temperatures. If we experience any unplanned outages, heat-related or otherwise, we are staffing so crews are positioned to respond. We are monitoring conditions and will only schedule critical work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, to reduce the impact of any planned outages on customers. This may change if the forecast changes.

Seattle Fire Department

With 33 fire stations operating across the City, the fire department will be prepared to respond to any heat-related medical emergencies and fires. All residents can take steps to help prevent brush fires from occurring in these hot and dry weather conditions, including properly discarding of smoking materials and ensuring vehicles don’t cause sparks on roadways. If you or someone you observe is showing signs of heat stroke, call 911 immediately (temperature above 103 degrees, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness, rapid and strong pulse, throbbing headache/confusion, no sweating).