C.J. Uber stayed cool by washing cars Wednesday afternoon as the Carson City area sweltered under near-record heat.
"It's pretty hot, but when you get sprayed with water it's kind of OK," Uber, 12, said.
Thermometers around the city reached a high of 98 degrees, missing the record set last year of 105 degrees. More heat is in store for today, with a high expected of 93 in Carson City. Reno reached 100 Wednesday and is expected to reach 96 today.
While it was hot enough to melt a few ice cream cones, the temperatures were nowhere near the record-breaking heat wave that baked the area a year ago. On July 10, 2002, Carson City reached 105 degrees and Reno hit 108 degrees.
A high-pressure system from Arizona bringing a dry southwest flow over Nevada and California is to blame, said Mark Brown, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.
"It tends to get hot when it's doing that," Brown said. "I think we're safe as far as any records for the next couple of days."
Uber and his friends at the Carson City Recreation Division Summer Kamp washed cars at Mills Park in bare feet, T-shirts and visors to keep cool during the hottest part of the day. They were hoping to collect at least $100 in spending money for snacks for the group's trip to Virginia City on Friday.
Katy Runde, 13, said it was OK but "it's hot on your feet."
A handful of swimmers played in the outside pool at the Carson Aquatic Center, but even that was too hot to handle for some.
Kelly Owens of Dayton brought four children to the center for the first time this summer, but they didn't stay outside long before heading into the inside pool.
"They think it's too hot outside," Owens said.
A Carson City veterinarian hospital reported few cases of overheated pets. A resident brought in one cage of bunnies that had been left out in the sun too long last week. The bunnies died from the effects of heat stroke.
When dogs, cats and small animals heat up and their body temperatures reach 108 degrees or more, it damages the brain. "That's what happened to the bunnies," said veterinarian Gary Ailes.
Dogs and cats need plenty of water and shade during hot days, Ailes said. Giving a dog a place to stay in an dirt area where the pet can dig a hole and rest in shade is the best way, he said.
Leaving pets inside cars even for a few minutes on hot days, when temperatures inside the car can reach 120 degrees or more, is extremely dangerous.
Signs that pets are in trouble include: breathing rapidly, panting or staggering, have dry mouth or appear dazed. The first thing an owner should do is throw a cold towel or blanket on them or cold water, then head to a clinic, Ailes said.
Sierra Pacific Power Co. was expecting "high load" days during the week but did not reach record high demands, said spokesman Gary Aldax.
The company put out around 1,400 megawatts during peak hours between 3 and 7 p.m. when air conditioners are turned up all over the area. One megawatt will power 75 to 100 homes and businesses in the area at any one time.
During last year's heat wave, Sierra Pacific reported a record high demand of 1,585 megawatts.
Brown said he is expecting temperatures to drop a couple degrees by Friday and into the weekend.