Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Seattle/Tacoma, WA

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NOUS46 KSEW 201605

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Seattle WA
905 AM PDT Sat May 20 2017

...Warm to Hot Weather Beginning Sunday But Area Waters Are
Dangerously Cold...

Warmer weather will begin later this weekend and turning hot for the
first part of the week. With the cool and wet spring we have had,
many will want to get out and enjoy the warmth and sunshine on our
area`s waterways. However, water temperatures are cold this time of
year, especially the rivers, which are running in the upper 30s to
upper 40s right now. The lakes are in the 50s. In addition, most
rivers are also flowing higher than normal and so they are also
rather swift.

These conditions will be exacerbated by the warming temperatures
coming in the next few days. It will accelerate the snow melt, which
will drive the rivers to even higher and more swift flows, and
dropping the water temperatures a few more degrees. All this just in
time for National Safe Boating Week, May 19-26. The safest thing to
do is not head to the water ways during situations like this. But if
you do go to the water, whether boating or swimming, please take the
proper precautions, like always wearing a life jacket.

Jumping or falling into these chilly waters can result in what is
called cold water immersion, that shocking feeling when entering the
water. When shocked like that, we tend to gasp and our muscles
quickly fail to move as they normally would making it harder to swim
or stay above the water surface, particularly in swift moving
rivers. Prolonged exposure to the cold water, from initial immersion
to 30 minutes, can result in physical incapacitation which also
compromises one`s ability to swim or stay afloat.

It is critical that a life jacket is worn when on or near area
waterways including those involved in paddle-sports. Life jackets
can save your life! A majority of drownings in Washington while
enjoying area waterways simply because they do not wear a life

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