Weather Blog

Long range forecasts have hot weather fans seeing, feeling blue

Long range forecasts have hot weather fans seeing, feeling blue

After a string of top 10 finishes among coldest months in Seattle this spring, you have to figure July is also a candidate to join the group, right?

Well, here is one to stump your friends: True or false, if the month ended today, Seattle's average high temperature this July would register as normal.

The answer, shockingly enough, is least, for now.

Seattle's average high this month is 74.9 degrees through July 13th, which is exactly normal if you factor in 1948 to present.

But, I get the sense that answer is going to be false by the time we line up for the Torchlight Parade later this month...

The new 8-14 day outlook was published Wednesday for the period between July 21 and July 27 and... it's still showing a big blue blob over the Pacific Northwest... while there is no relief for the rest of the county that continues to bake on full broil.

In fact, this map says Western Washington has a 90-100% chance of below normal temperatures around July 24th. But then, you probably knew that already.

This is quite unusual in that we are entering statistically the driest and warmest time of the year -- there's a reason Torchlight and the Blue Angels are held near the end of July and first of August. But it seems that the Northwest has turned into a trough magnet and it doesn't want to let go.

To get July into record territory, we would have to average high temperatures of 67.8 degrees from here on out to match 1955's record for coldest July on record (68.6 for a monthly average.) 1955 is far and away the coldest year on record for Seattle as far as average high temperatures go and we have a ways to get there (while we trumped '55 this April, all the other months this year have been warmer than 1955.)

That year's chilly July did rebound a bit for August -- still below normal, but a 71 degree average -- but went below normal the rest of the year, highlighted by a very chilly November that ended up second coldest on record.

Only Mother Nature knows if 2011 will follow suit or finally spin around to a warm stretch. Most climate models indicate we're heading into a neutral winter which doesn't have a signal one way or another in the Northwest as to whether it'll be colder or warmer than normal, although one prominent model used in El Nino/La Nina predictions is indicating a return to a weak La Nina, which is not unusual after a strong episode like we had last winter.