Mother Nature serves up one doozy of a heat wave

Mother Nature serves up one doozy of a heat wave
SEATTLE -- Well, grab your napkin because here we go...

Sunday was the appetizer for this week-long heat wave with a high of 89 in Seattle. Today would be the soup and salad, with the main course coming Tuesday through Thursday.

Under blazing sunshine, the highs today across much of the region will be well into the 90s -- we're going 94 for Seattle, a degree short of the record high of 95. That said, there are a few areas -- most notably the coast and north interior -- who are still waiting for a seat at the heat wave table. It'll also still be a bit muggy, leftover from the area of low pressure that was here over the weekend. The low is gone, but with a very stagnant pattern in place, there's nothing to dry us out -- yet.

Highs today along the coast will be in the upper 70s, while it's generally mid 80s in the north interior. That's due to a trickle of a seabreeze that's still around, but that goes away after Tuesday and you all will join the 90s party.

Speaking of Tuesday, it's more of the same, adding about 2-3 degrees to everyone's highs. That put Seattle at about 96, with mid-upper 90s common across the Puget Sound region and southwestern Washington. The coast will be into the mid 80s by now, and the north interior will be around 90. Not quite as muggy, but still a little.

Wednesday and Thursday will battle it out for hottest day of the week honors as we bake from medium rare to well done. For the main course, we're adding in a dash of a warming east wind into the equation. The addition of this east wind makes it the ultimate in heat wave patterns here, and will push highs to the brink of 100 around the Puget Sound area, likely hitting or even crossing 100 in the Cascade foothills and from Olympia south into the southwestern interior of Washington. The coast should be into the 90s by now, and even the north interior will likely be in the mid 90s.

The trade off, which I guess is good news, is that while the east wind will crank up the heat even more, it'll dry us out and get us back to the more familiar desert-like heat.

The intensity and duration of the heat has prompted an EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING to be issued through Thursday a.m., which is pretty high up the ladder as far as National Weather Service heat warnings go. An AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY is also in effect through Thursday.

So the $640,000 question (adjusted for inflation): When does the heat wave end?!? Long range forecasting models still don't show a definite cool down until next Sunday, but do hint at some gradual cooling Friday into Saturday. That flies in the face of how most heat waves end around here (most usually end with a raging marine push and 30 degree drop) but then again, this is no ordinary heat wave. So we'll see. Safe bet is by next week, but sometime over the weekend is a better bet.

Besides, what better dessert than a weekend?

Random climate notes:

All time record for consecutive days at 90 or hotter: 5. Whatever this heat wave ultimately ends up with, it'll be too bad that the streak wouldn't have been a day longer since we missed 90 by a degree on Sunday.

All time record for consecutive days at 85 or hotter: 9. Today will make No. 3 Looks like that record might be safe as this streak seems destined for 7 or 8.

Cooling Centers In Operation:

Here are some places you can go to escape the heat:

Pierce County Libraries http://www.piercecountylibrary.org

Federal Way Community Center -- http://www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?page=1179

Bonny Lake Senior Center http://ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/section_community/community_resources/senior_center.shtml