Just another sizzling Saturday

Just another sizzling Saturday
Seattle basks in the May sunshine. (Photo courtesy of Clane Gessel.)
SEATTLE -- It's Saturday, which means either grab your shorts or your parka.

The past seven Saturdays have been completely either feast or famine in the temperature department, and today is definitely feast.

A day after Seattle tied its record high of 84 Friday, we shattered it on Saturday with a high of 90. It's the earliest 90 degree reading in Sea-Tac Airport's history. (Old record was May 20th)

Current Records for Saturday before today's temperatures:

LOCATION 

SAT

BELLINGHAM  

81

SEA-TAC ARPT

85

OLYMPIA ARPT

90

QUILLAYUTE

82

HOQUIAM 

87

 

But if this is too hot, there's some good news -- relief is on the way.  Our cool, ocean breeze is making it way east into the Puget Sound area. It's already passed the coast, where temperatures dropped into the 60s this afternoon. And the surge of cool air passed Port Angeles just before 3 o'clock, dropping temperature rapidly there.

For the I-5 corridor, temperatures will remain in the 80s and 90s through the early evening, but then should rapidly cool during the late evening hours to where by sunset, we should be a far cry from the mid 80s.

We'll continue to cool through the night, with lows dropping into the low 50s.

As for feast or famine for Saturday, get this: If Seattle reaches the mid 80s today, the average high temperature for the past seven Saturdays would be roughly 62 degrees -- or about spot-on normal.

However, let's look at the last seven:

May 17: Sunny and 8?
May 10: Rainy and 60
May 3: Rainy and 51
April 26: Sunny and 67
April 19: Snowing and 45
April 12: Sunny and 79
April 5: Raining and 50

So by that math, it should rain next weekend. Guess we'll see...

Flood Watches Remain For Some Rivers

It's really hot in the mountains too, and that is doing a great job of melting some of our huge snowpack from the winter.

A FLOOD WATCH remains in effect for rivers in King, Lewis and Pierce Counties due to higher levels due to rapid snowmelt. Any flooding would be minor as forecasted river crests are at or just below flood stage.   The rivers at most risk at the Snoqulamie, White, Nisqaully, Puyallup and Cowlitz.

But there's a greater danger posed by rivers, and that's from people jumping into them to cool off. Not only will mountain-fed rivers be running higher and faster than usual, but they might be several degrees colder than you are expecting. Even though it might be 90 outside, that water might be 38 degrees or so.

Every spring during our first warm spells, we see stories of people drowning in the rivers due to hypothermia. People should still use cold water safety practices by wearing a wetsuit when going into such cold waters. Or just find your local swimming pool.

Also, avalanche danger is very high in the backcountry areas of the mountains. As you might imagine, this heat -- it's even 80+ in the mountains -- is melting a lot of snow and that is making the big snowpack unstable.

The North Cascades Highway (S.R. 20) is closed due to high avalanche danger through the weekend, and DOT warns people to check mountain pass conditions through the weekend in case of other avalanche control methods are needed.

But believe it or not, you can go skiing this weekend in the heat. Alpental will be open both Saturday and Sunday, in case you ever wanted to go skiing in shorts. (At least on Saturday. Temperatures will be cooler on Sunday.)

And finally, one last reminder -- don't leave pets or kids in the car.  Temperatures inside can get well over 120 degrees in the sun. Bring the kid in, and maybe leave Fido at home.