The temperature in Carson City hit 105 degrees Wednesday. Hot, in other words, and record-breaking.
Until Wednesday's 105, the hottest recorded Carson City temperature was 103 degrees, reached Sept. 3, 1950. And the hottest temperature for July 10 was 98 degrees, reached in 1959.
In Reno, the temperature hit 108 degrees at 3:39 p.m., dropping to 104 degrees by 5:30 p.m, breaking both the all-time high of 106 degrees and the date's high of 100 degrees.
Al Cox, data acquisition program manager at the National Weather Service, said a massive high pressure system is over the area and temperatures of 102 to 103 degrees can be expected today in Carson City and 105 degrees in Reno.
The forecast for this weekend looks as hot as well, at least through Saturday.
"For a while, we're probably going to be floating around the 100-degree mark," said Rhett Milne, of the National Weather Service. "It may cool down, close to 100 on Saturday. And I think we'll cool down closer to the mid-90s by midweek."
Sierra Pacific Power Co. reported a record high demand for electricity on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Spokesman Karl Walquist said demand from the region's 315,000 customers in northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California, reached 1,585 megawatts. A megawatt is the amount of electricity required to serve about 650 homes.
The company's previous record of 1,577 megawatts was set on July 31, 2000. The demand was attributed to increased use of air conditioning, water pumps for irrigation and customer growth, said Bruce Bullock, executive director.
Hot weather and high temperatures mean people need to be extra cautious.
At Carson-Tahoe Hospital, administrator coordinator Blanca Sifuentes said eight people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had been admitted by mid-afternoon.
"We're getting a lot of people with COPD, people with emphysema and asthma," Sifuentes said. "With the heat and air, we're getting bombarded."
Sifuentes said she is sure she will see several more people admitted while the temperatures remain high.
"I expect some of the same people," she said. "Usually those are the people who get difficulty breathing. Even normal people have trouble breathing."
Sifuentes said many of those admitted Wednesday were in the hospital receiving oxygen, and she warned that the elderly are particularly affected by the heat.
"The best thing to do is stay indoors. If you have air conditioning, put that on, and if you have a fan, put that on."
To protect yourself from heat exposure, exercise early in the morning or late at night. Avoid strenuous mid-day activities, until the temperature cools off.
"That's when we get stroke victims," Sifuentes said, "when it's hot."
Animals, like humans, need to be careful in the heat. Animals have higher body temperatures than humans, with a normal temperature for a dog ranging from 101 to 102.5, according to Mindy Olshefski, a veterinarian technician at Sierra Veterinary Hospital.
"One hundred five degrees is burning brain cells," she said.
The hospital took in a 6-1/2 month-old kitten Wednesday with a temperature of 104 degrees. The cat, Rocky, had climbed out a window and been outside for an hour. After it became aggressive, a symptom of overheating, several neighborhood boys called Animal Control after the cat hissed at them. Upon arrival at the hospital, Rocky was upset and lethargic.
But with good care, like an ice pack in his cage, Rocky's temperature dropped to 101.6 degrees, and he was happily eating and letting his gray fur be stroked by vet technicians.
Olshefski said the optimum situation for a pet is to leave him or her inside with the air conditioner running.
"If they can't keep them in the house, they need shade trees, and big quantities of water with ice in the shade," Olshefski said. "A kid's pool is great for cooling off."
She also suggests freezing bottles of water and planting them in the dirt for pets to lie on. Animals dig in dirt to reach the coolest part. Go home at lunch to refill water dishes and check on your pet, she suggested.
Several signs indicate a dog or cat may be overheated.
"They would be panting excessively, and lethargic, just lying there," Olshefski said.
Animals will also be aggressive when suffering from heat exhaustion. If a pet exhibits signs of overexposure, immediately cover the animal with cool, wet towels and place its feet in cold water.
"I turn on my swamp cooler for my animals," Olshefski said. "It was turned on at 7:15 this morning after they were sent out for the bathroom."