Break out the shorts (and trumpets?) Seattle set for 80 degrees

Break out the shorts (and trumpets?) Seattle set for 80 degrees
1 1/2-year-old Landon gets his first ever time in the sprinkler as Seattle gets set to have its first 80 degree day of 2012.
SEATTLE -- The Emerald City is set to reach 80 degrees Monday and last we checked on our calendar, it's still May.

Wait a minute -- 80 degrees in May? In Seattle? For many I might as well have said, "and also watch out for unicorns on the Montlake Bridge while boaters should give wide room to the Loch Ness Monster at the Ballard Locks."

But lo and behold, 80 degrees is coming Seattle. A nice "summer preview" pattern is still here leftover from the weekend that brought upper 70s to Seattle Saturday and Sunday but 80s to the south and east. (The Portland/Willamette Valley areas just missed hitting 90 on Sunday.)

Monday is going to take Sunday's pattern and do it a few degrees' better, as this time we ditch that pesky afternoon seabreeze for a bit of a warmer east wind. That should get Seattle into the low 80s Monday while mid 80s should be common south and east. If you need to cool off, head to the north where highs will be closer to the mid-upper 70s -- you really need a bonafide heat wave to get to 80.

I call it a "summer preview" because this is a similar pattern to what brings near 90 degree temperatures to the area in the heart of summer. (Had today been July 14th, the forecast for Seattle would probably be about 88 or so). It's just that this pattern has been sasquatch-esque in its elusiveness in the spring lately.

In fact, for the past two years, we not only had to wait until after summer officially began, but we had to wait until July began. In the infamous "missing spring of 2010," we had to wait until after Independence Day -- July 7. Last year we "only" had to wait until July 2, but on the flip side, it was a staggering 301-day wait after the final 80 of 2010's "summer."

But this year, the wait's a solid 9 1/2 weeks shorter and by the time Memorial Day rolls around, we'll be warm weather veterans.

Or at least, we'll have it fresh in our memories. Forecast models indicate this particular pattern of 80s is a "one and done" for Seattle, as our cooling marine winds will energize through the week, gradually cooling us off through the 70s to where highs by the middle of the week will be back in the more familiar 60s (and Thursday and Friday will struggle to get that warm.) And extended forecasts don't show a return to the 80s anytime in the next two weeks.

But unlike Montlake unicorns or Lochs at the Locks, this nice stretch of weather will have some definitive proof it can happen!