Heat advisory in effect for Wednesday

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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Expecting what could be the hottest day of 2011 on Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Portland has issued a heat advisory for much of Clark County, the Portland area and Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Wednesday's high temperature in Vancouver is expected to reach 96 degrees, according to the weather service -- that would top the previous high mark for the year, set when Pearson Field recorded 95 degrees on Aug. 20.

The heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday. Affected areas include Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal.

After a high of 91 in Vancouver on Tuesday, Wednesday will likely mark the second of what could be five consecutive days of 90 degrees or more. A run like that hasn't happened in September since 2003, according to the weather service.

Legacy Health earlier this week offered some tips for staying safe during dangerously hot weather. Tops on the list are drinking plenty of fluids, replacing salt and minerals lost when the body sweats, and wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Legacy also urged residents to stay cool indoors if possible. The people most susceptible to heat-related illness are infants, those 65 years of age or older, plus the overweight or ill.

Expect this late-summer heat wave to stick around for a while. For Vancouver, the weather service predicts high temperatures in the 90s at least through Saturday. Conditions should cool back down into the 80s by early next week.