Record-high temps bring free outdoor sauna

Record-high temps bring free outdoor sauna
SEATTLE - More heat records were shattered Thursday as the second day of a heat wave gripped the region.

The temperature at Sea-Tac Airport peaked at 95 degrees - well above the previous record for the date of 87 degrees and making it the hottest day in Seattle since… well, since last July. (Thanks, 103-degree heat wave for thwarting this from sounding anything historic.)

And it was just as hot (or nearly so) in some other places. In Shelton and Olympia, mercury also hit 95 degrees.

Those were the champions of the Puget Sound area as it was slightly cooler in other cities around the region - but still well above normal.

Some maximum temperatures from around the region Thursday were Bellevue and Tacoma, 94; Bremerton, 93; Renton, 92; Sequim, 91; Gig Harbor, 90; Bellingham and Port Angeles, 88; Everett, 86; and Mount Vernon, 84.

But - look on the bright side, at least your daily sauna budget was saved -- perhaps it was used for an extra scoop of ice cream?

On the other hand, it was much cooler on the coast, where Quillayute hit 78 while Hoquiam only reached 65 and was socked in with fog for all day.

Friday's forecast is a wild card as the thermal trough moves into Eastern Washington and the wind switches to the cooler west wind. The coast will be in the low-mid 70s, but for the interior locations, it'll depend on how much marine flow we get.

Right now, locations show a weak west wind for Friday, which does not look strong enough to bring in significant cooling, but will be enough to at least remove the warming that an east wind adds to a hot day like it did Thursday.

What we're left is an atmosphere akin to what happens when you turn the stove off -- the burner stays hot, but gradually cools.

So Friday is looking like another very warm day, but cooler than Thursday, with highs in the Puget Sound area in the mid-upper 80s as opposed to mid 90s. We also might benefit from a better afternoon seabreeze.

The coast will remain much cooler with highs only in the 60s to low 70s.

The weekend is an olive branch for wilting this week as the marine flow strengthens. We'll see morning clouds then sunshine both days with highs in the 70s, although we'll have to watch because some models hint at a really strong marine push possible for Saturday or Sunday, which could give us a cloudier day stuck it the 60s. So goes forecasting the end of heat waves in the Northwest -- sometimes you get a boomerang effect to a chilly day at the end.

The high temperatures continue to moderate through next week as the air mass gradually cools and the onshore flow increases. Highs Monday and Tuesday will be in the low-mid 70s.

So any sauna bathing will have to be indoors :)

How hot was it Wednesday?

Here are some of the preliminary highs from Wednesday:

  • Vancouver, WA: 96
  • Hoquiam: 94
  • Astoria: 93
  • Forks: 92
  • Bellevue: 92
  • Shelton: 92
  • Olympia: 91
  • Seattle: 90
  • Bremerton: 90
  • Tacoma: 90
  • Seattle (UW): 88
  • Renton: 87
  • Friday Harbor: 85
  • Bellingham: 84
  • Arlington: 84
  • Gig Harbor: 84
  • Everett: 83