Weather Blog

Love the 70s? Seattle sets record for pleasant temperatures

Love the 70s? Seattle sets record for pleasant temperatures
Seattle's waterfront on (another) sunny day, Sept. 4, 2012. (Courtesy YouNews contributor Tori_Snow)
SEATTLE -- I'm sure you've heard how long it's been since it last rained (44 days once Tuesday goes in the books, for those who have been living in a cave), but I think Seattle is in the middle of setting a more impressive record that will bring more smiles to locals than just how long it's been since it rained.

I say that Seattle is amidst the longest stretch of pleasant temperatures in decades, perhaps in its history. Believe it or not, Monday marked the 17th day in a row Seattle has had a high temperature in the 70s with Tuesday well on its way to make it 18.

We hit a high of 91 degrees on August 17. The next day, the high was 71 and ever since, the afternoons haven't been hotter than 79 nor cooler than 70. And of course, it hasn't rained in the stretch either. What's more, 12 of those 17 days have had a high between 70 and 73, including the entire Labor Day Weekend.

Seattle has never had such a streak of 70s before and in fact, it really hasn't been all that close. Although it might surprise you that the record we broke this year was tied during what many thought was a bummer summer: 2011. Seattle went 14 straight days in the 70s between Aug. 6 and 19. That 14-day streak was also seen in 1995 and again in 2003.

Perhaps the greatest competition to our current pleasant stretch came in 2003 when we had a 33 day streak of highs between 70 and 84. But there were days in the low-mid 80s peppered in amid the 70s, and three days inside those 33 had a decent amount of rain. (2003 would set a record for number of consecutive days at or above 70 degrees at 61. 2012's streak is still current at 36 days through Tuesday.)

I realize that "pleasant" is a subjective term that for some, means a rainy day in the 50s, while others aren't happy unless it's over 90. But I'd think for the vast majority of people, a sunny day in the 70s would fit the definition of pleasant.

The long range forecasts suggest the 70s streak could survive much of this week, although it will be close. High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 70s but Sea-Tac could perhaps touch 80 on one or more days later this week. Even though it would end this particular streak, I bet we find few complaints.

As for the hallowed dry weather streak, Seattle sits in third place all-time with 44 days through Tuesday. We'll move into second-longest streak on Thursday when we reach 46 days.

Rain is in the forecast for Monday which would end the streak at 49 days -- two short of the record of 51 set in 1951. But some computer models have indicated the rain could possibly miss Seattle to the north. It's something we'll have to watch this week... as we sit with our laptops outside with the sunglasses on and a nice cool drink by our side.