Weather Blog

Does it seem 70s are in short supply? You'd be right

Does it seem 70s are in short supply? You'd be right
It's been a dichotomy of a summer here in the Northwest. Seattle has had 6 days at 90 degrees or hotter, courtesy of two separate heat waves. That was the first time that we've had two separate heat waves with 3 days over 90.

But those six days along with eight others that were in the low-mid 80s have essentially been our summer. August marked the fifth consecutive month with temperatures below average (although July and August were just a smidge cooler than normal) and September is well on its way to becoming No. 6.

Yet even though those days skew the heat numbers to where someday looking back, it might seem this was a hot summer (For example, Seattle only averages 3 days a year at 90 or hotter) it's been the other days when it wasn't a heat wave -- a majority of them have been cloudy and in the 60s.

Dana Felton with the National Weather Service did some checking and so far, Seattle has had just 54 days at 70 or hotter this year. Typically we average 84 days.

The 54 days at 70 as of now puts us at third-lowest on the chart of fewest number of days at 70 per year. The record was 46 days set in 1955. The rest of the Top 5:
2) 53 (1954)
3) 54 (2010)*
4) 65 (1980, 1964)
5) 66 (1956)

Felton points out that 1954, 55, and 56 as well as 1964 were all La Nina years, as we are in this year.

If some of those years sound familiar, 1955 and 1964 were also near the top of the chart of the latest day to 75 degrees that got all the attention earlier this summer.

(Update: A commenter below asked what were the snow totals like for those previous La Nina winters. Well, they were pretty good: 1954-55 had 13.4", '55-56 had 24.2" and '56-57 had 17.7" -- all well above average. '64-65 had 18.2", also way above average. 1980-81 was pretty paltry at 1.4" but it also was not a La Nina winter.)

Now, we should still get a few 70s before we get too far into autumn -- there's even a good chance at a few days in the 70s next week, but 11 of them? I think this year will probably end up as third fewest.