The use and sale of consumer fireworks are prohibited in the unincorporated areas of King County, but several cities in the county host a professional fireworks show for the public on July 4. File photo

The use and sale of consumer fireworks are prohibited in the unincorporated areas of King County, but several cities in the county host a professional fireworks show for the public on July 4. File photo

Fourth of July weekend weather: Sunny skies and warm highs

In light of preventable drownings, King County officials are urging the public to be cautious at rivers, lakes and Puget Sound.

  • Wednesday, July 3, 2024 7:00am
  • News

King County residents can expect warm summer temperatures and sunny skies starting on Independence Day and lasting through the weekend.

The upcoming forecast, according to the National Weather Service:

• Wednesday, July 3: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 75 degrees. Light and variable wind around 6 mph in the afternoon. At night, it will be clear with a low of around 56 degrees.

• Thursday, July 4: Sunny, with a high near 79 degrees. Light winds at 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Thursday night: Clear, with a low around 60 degrees.

• Friday, July 5: Sunny, with a high near 83 degrees. At night, mostly clear, with a low around 63 degrees.

• Saturday, July 6: Sunny, with a high near 85 degrees. At night, mostly clear, with a low around 63 degrees.

• Sunday, July 7: Sunny, with a high near 90 degrees. At night, clear, with a low around 65 degrees.

• Monday, July 8: Sunny, with a high near 87 degrees.

Drowning deaths

After five consecutive years of preventable drowning deaths staying at historically high levels, King County officials are urging the public to be cautious at rivers, lakes and Puget Sound as the Fourth of July weekend arrives.

A preliminary analysis by Public Health – Seattle & King County indicates there were 30 preventable drowning deaths in King County in 2023. That annual estimate has been steady since 2019, when the number of preventable drownings nearly doubled from the previous year.

Experts say the trend is the result of multiple factors: warmer air temperatures in spring and early summer when open water remains dangerously cold, a nationwide shortage of lifeguards, and inequitable access to pools and swimming lessons. They also noted that in the past five years, 70% of King County preventable drowning deaths involved drugs or alcohol.

Public Health researchers categorized the geographic location of each drowning. About 40% percent occurred in Seattle, 30% occurred in North and East King County, and 30% occurred in South King County.

Nearly 30% of the 74 preventable drowning deaths in open water over the past five years occurred in Lake Washington, while 11% occurred in Puget Sound. Two rivers — the Green River and the Snoqualmie River — accounted for 17% of preventable drownings.

Public Health officials recommend that people wear a life jacket while on the water and to supervise children in the water.


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