Thermometer reaches lofty heights for second day

Thermometer reaches lofty heights for second day

SEATTLE -- Statistics say Seattle should only reach 95 degrees for one day about two out of every three years.

Statistics also say it shouldn't rain on SeaFair...

Mother Nature has thumbed her nose at math for the second straight year as the temperature soared over 95 degrees once again Sunday and preliminarily topped out at 96 -- just the 12th time since 1948 that the city has had back-to-back days at 95 or hotter. Oh, at it broke the daily high temperature record of 92 degrees -- at 1 p.m.

Tacoma also hit 96, while Olympia reached 97 and Shelton got the prize for largest swelter at 99 degrees.

But even traditionally cooler places like the San Juans baked in the heat. Friday Harbor reached 92 degrees Sunday.

An "Excessive Heat Warning" remains in effect until 10 p.m. Monday as most of the area is expecting another hot day to start the work week.

One place where the heat warning is not in effect is the coast, where the cool, marine winds returned early in the day and temperatures were stuck in the 60s and 70s. Hoquiam's high temperature Sunday was 63 degrees, just one day after sweltering at 97.

Another warm one Monday, but slightly cooler

It looks like we're in for another very hot day in the Puget Sound region and Western Washington interior on Monday with highs again well above normal, but a few subtle changes.

For one, the east wind engine is slowing down and will likely stop this evening. Second, it looks like a weak west wind will actually trickle into the interior overnight, bringing just a little taste of cooler air. We could even see some brief morning clouds in place to the western shores of Puget Sound.

But the overriding factor is the super hot air mass, and that means even though the heating effect of the east wind won't be around Monday, the effect is akin to turning off a burner and still feeling the residual heat.

So we are expecting a little cooling, but not a whole lot, with highs still into the upper 80s and low 90s -- perhaps 4-8 degrees below today, but not much relief.

Models are more optimistic for better cooling Monday night, to where highs on Tuesday should drop into the low-mid 80s -- still fairly warm even with some cooler, westerly wind due to the lingering heat of the air mass.

It is Tuesday night where the marine push really charges inland vanquishing all lingering effects of the heat wave and instead presenting a mostly cloudy day with areas of drizzle and highs only in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Long range models hint that we'll remain in a cloudier and cooler pattern through the weekend.

Some interesting heat wave statistics:

This year marks only the fourth time in Sea-Tac history that we will reach 95 in two separate heat waves, having reached 95 on Saturday and July 8.

  • 1967: August 16 (98) and August 28 (95)
  • 1978: July 22 (95) and August 8 (95)
  • 1988: July 19-20 (95, 95) and September 2 (98)
  • 2010: July 8 (95) and August 14-15 (95,96)

(In 1977, there was a three day stretch of 95+ degree weather from Aug. 10-12, then a few days' slight cooling before it rebounded back to 96 in Aug. 17. I counted that as the same heat wave and not as one of the four in this statistic.)

This heat wave also at least has slight potential to be just the fourth time we have reached 95 or better for three consecutive days:

  • 1977: August 10-12 (95, 95, 96)
  • 2006: July 21-23 (97, 96, 95)
  • 2009: July 28-30 (97, 103, 96)

Heat Wave Scoreboard

City Sat Sun Mon
Seattle (Sea-Tac) 95 96  
Seattle (Boeing) 91 95  
Seattle (UW) 91 93  
Bellevue 95 95  
Tacoma 95 96  
Everett 88 91  
Renton 93 93  
N. Bend 92 94  
Bremerton 93 93  
Shelton 97 99  
Gig Harbor 91 92  
Bellingham 88 90  
Anacortes 88 83  
Friday Harbor 91 92  
Port Angeles 88 88  
Sequim 88 91  
Port Townsend 86 85  
Whidbey Isl NAS 77 78  
Olympia 95 97  
Kelso 100 90  
Vancouver, WA 98 98  
Forks 96 74  
Hoquiam 97 63