This might be the ultimate statistic to show just how hot a summer it's been in Seattle this year:
In typical summers, Seattle gets a handful of 80 degree days a year (25 to be exact -- OK, so they're big hands).
This summer? It was the average high temperature.
In about as big a surprise as Kanye West doing something zany at the MTV Video Music Awards, Seattle has officially notched its hottest summer on record. (Yes, technically there are still three weeks in summer by our calendar, what with that whole autumnal equinox and all, but "meteorological summer" runs June 1-Aug. 31. Meteorological fall is Sept. 1-Nov. 30; winter is Dec. 1-Feb. 28, spring is March 1-May 31).
And by all measures, it wasn't even close.
It is indeed the first summer ever here that averaged a high temperature over 80 degrees, checking in at 80.2. (The fact that 47 of the 92 days this summer were above 80 might have had something to do with it*.) Second place on the hottest average high temperature? WAY down the chart at 77.6 degrees, set both in 1961 and 1958.
Our average summer high is 73.4.
Beating a statistic averaged over three months by over 2 1/2 degrees is like winning the Super Bowl over the AFC champion by 36 points (wink).
What about by average overall temperature? Smashed that record too. The average temperature (high+low divided by 2) was 69.2 degrees, breaking the previous record of 67.4 degrees set way back in… 2013 (by nearly two degrees!)
In fact, the top three hottest summers at Sea-Tac Airport by average temperature are now the last three summers. 2014's summer was 66.8 degrees. 2009 is in sixth place. The average for summer is 63.6.
As you've seen in earlier blogs, forecasters are giving better than average odds that next summer will be warm too. But this summer has set the bar so high, it seems it'll be difficult to reach again anytime soon**.
* - Seattle has had a record 49 days above 80 this year, but two occurred in May.
** - Not to be taken as a taunt or challenge to Mother Nature.
August no slouch on its own
For just the individual month of August, it'll go down as the 4th warmest on record by average overall temperature (68.7), extending our streak to 19 consecutive months with above average monthly temperatures. It also continues a three-year streak of a Top 5 warmest August. 3rd place on the list is 2014; 2nd place is 2013.
By average high temperature, it was tied for 7th warmest (79.0) -- the cool end to the month dropped us down from loftier heights.
For rainfall, it was the opposite story. Seattle finished up with the 4th wettest August on record with 3.28" of rain, and for the first time in city history, had two separate days with over 1" of rain.