Weather Blog

Stealing heat from Arizona, so "Take it Easy"

Stealing heat from Arizona, so "Take it Easy"
Going to be standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona? Bring a jacket.

It appears Mother Nature has pulled off a blockbuster trade in the weather department: Our chilly weather for some of Arizona's heat.

While Northwesterners get ready to bake in some desert-like heat, northern Arizona is setting records for chilly weather. Several cities in the northern hills set records Tuesday for coldest high temperature ever recorded on May 13.  Winslow, Arizona only hit 57 degrees, shattering their old record by 5 degrees, which was set in 1933. Cottonwood broke their record by 12 degrees.

And even crazier, Flagstaff had 3.7" of snow, breaking their old record of 3.1".

Meanwhile, up here, it's the records on the opposite side of the scale that are nervous. Temperatures are forecasted to climb into the 80s to perhaps low 90s in the hotter spots Friday and Saturday, which would do a good job in rewriting the record books.

Here is a sample of some record highs coming up:
LOCATION 
FRI
SAT
BELLINGHAM  
78
81
SEA-TAC ARPT
84
85
OLYMPIA ARPT
86
90
QUILLAYUTE
86
82
HOQUIAM 
88
87

If somehow Sea-Tac Airport reaches 90 degrees either day, it would set the record for earliest 90 degree reading in the airport's history. Right now, our first 90 was May 20, 1963.

That would be an extreme dose of weather irony that we nearly set the record for latest snow ever when it snowed a bit on April 19, then less than a month later, set the record for earliest 90 degree reading.

But then again, we're going 86 or 87 for a high so that 90 reading might be safe.

You all know the "don't run with scissors" advice when it comes to heat: Drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing, have your ice cream flavor chosen before you get to the front of the line...

But there's one tip here that the National Weather Service pointed out that really needs to be shouted from the hilltops, and that is the extreme danger on our area lakes and rivers.

With the very heavy snowpack in the mountains from our cold winter and the 300-some-odd inches of snow that fell during January and February, snow-melt runoff is much greater than usual.

That means not only will mountain-fed rivers be running a little higher than usual, but they might be several degrees colder than you are expecting. Even though it might be 90 outside, that water might be 38 degrees or so.

Every spring during our first warm spells, we see stories of people drowning in the rivers due to hypothermia. People should still use
cold water safety practices by wearing a wetsuit when going into
such cold waters. Or just find your local swimming pool.

And finally, one last reminder -- don't leave pets or kids in the car.  Temperatures inside can get well over 120 degrees in the sun. Bring the kid in, and maybe leave Fido at home.