Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Seattle/Tacoma, WA
NOUS46 KSEW 281319
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
630 AM PST FRI APR 28 2017
...Area Waterways Are Cold As Warmer Weather Begins...
Warmer weather will arrive sometime in the near future and when it
does, many will want to get out and enjoy the sunshine on our area`s
waterways. Just keep in mind - the water is cold. In Puget Sound and
area lakes and rivers, water temperatures this time of year run only
in the 40s to lower 50s.
We also got a near to just above normal mountain snowpack this
winter. Given the slow start to warmer weather, that snow melt will
be in the waterways well into the start of summer, meaning those
water temperatures will remain cold heading into July.
Jumping or falling into these chilly waters 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.
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
Many life jackets available at many area outdoor recreation
retailers are quite stylish and affordable. May 19th is Wear Your
Life Jacket To Work Day - a fun day to show off your life jacket and
demonstrate how easy and comfortable wearing a life jacket is.
On Wednesday May 3rd, a team of water safety experts will tour
Seattle area news media to highlight water safety as the warm
weather season begins. Early in the season is when the majority of
water related tragedies occur and many could have been avoided
simply by wearing a life jacket. The media tour team consisting of
Washington State Parks, U.S. Coast Guard, the National Weather
Service, and King County Marine Dive Unit will highlight cold water
immersion and the easy steps to take to avoid getting into trouble
in area waterways.
During the spring, water temperatures remain cold and area rivers
run higher and swifter than during the summer. If you plan to enjoy
area waterways during warm weather periods, obtain and use a life
jacket to ensure you are able to enjoy the water for years to come.