Why Is Eastern Washington Hotter Than Western Washington?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - It was pretty hot over here toward the end of July, but Eastern Washington was baking in triple digits. Why the difference?

Western Washington can thank its proximity to the Pacific Ocean as a natural air conditioning. But the Cascade Mountains act like a wall that keeps the cool air from getting over to the other side, leaving them to bake in the hot summer sun. And even on our hottest days when we get air blowing over from Eastern Washington, the water around here keeps us from getting over 100.

It can work in the opposite way in the winter. Sometimes, arctic air can filter down into Eastern Washington, but it won't be able to jump the Cascades into Western Washington, keeping us in the 30s and 40s while Eastern Washington shivers in the teens and 20s.

Your Photos

YouNews Waiting their turn Waiting their turn
A Washington State Ferry waits its turn to dock at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal as the sun rises over Mount Baker in the background.
YouNews Reflection Reflection
During my time in Seattle, WA, I've had the opportunity to take all sorts of interesting pictures. There is water everywhere here, and in this shot; it provides a perfect mirror to the road above.
YouNews Weekend Sky Objects Weekend Sky Objects
These images were taken Friday and Saturday under with a bright moon. M42 is a 45 minute stack of 122 frames and M15 is a 34 minute stack of 14 frames. A Meade 6-inch refractor
and a Nikon D3100 was used for all the images. Stacking was
done with Deep Sky Stacker (freeware).