Weather Blog

2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009

2014 going to end up as much hotter summer in Seattle than 2009

At least as far as recent memory goes, 2009 set quite the standard for a hot summer in Seattle. That year was home to a brutal two-week stretch of heat that peaked at 103 degrees in Seattle on July 29 and had several days over 90.

This summer hasn't been anywhere near as hot, at least as far as peak heating goes. We have four total days at 90 or warmer and a 96 degree reading earlier this month, but no real "trophy heat waves", as I call them. As in: No long stretches over 90. In fact, all our 90 degree days this year have been orphans -- just one in a row.

But what this summer lacked in power, it's made up for in consistency. We've already had two week-plus long stretches of 80 degree days this summer and have only had a few days under 70.

Here are some stats to show how they stack up:

Number of days at 80 or warmer: 2009: 36. 2014: 37 (through Monday)... and counting. and maybe even 39 or 40 by the end of this week. Note that in 2009, six of its 36 80+ days came after Aug. 25 so at this point in the summer, it was "only" 30.
Number of days at 85 or warmer: 2009: 21. 2014: 18 through Sunday. Outside chance we catch 2009 by the middle of this week with another good 4 weeks on the clock to hit 85.
Number of days at 90 or warmer: 2009: 7. 2014: 4

Ahh, but the biggie:

Number of days at 95 or warmer: 
2009: 3, including 103 and 97. 2014: Just the single 96 degree day.

But here is where the summer of 2014 really struts its stuff:

Average high temperature from July 1-Aug. 24: 2009: 78.1 degrees. 2014: 80.4 degrees. 2014 is still on pace for hottest July-August on record but has to maintain about an 80 degree average high temperature the rest of the month, including Monday. On the flip side:

Number of days cooler than 70 degrees in August: 2009: 8. 2014: 0

That brings up another point: We're in the midst of a long streak of high temperatures at 70 degrees or warmer. It won't be a record streak, but we could reach the Top 5:

Top 10 longest streaks of high temperatures at our above 70 in Seattle (Sea-Tac Airport since 1945):

  1. 61 days 7/8-9/6 2003
  2. 49 days 7/8-8/26 1958
  3. 44 days 7/27-9/8 1967
  4. 40 days 7/31-9/8 2012
  5. 35 days 7/17-8/20 1977
  6. 34 days 7/5-8/7 1994
  7. 33 days 8/3-9/4 2013
  8. 32 days 7/24-8/25 2014
  9. 31 days 7/16-8/15 1998
  10. 30 days 6/30-7/29 1985
  11. 29 days 7/22-8/19 1997

Forecasts are for another warm week ahead but cooler weather is expected for Labor Day Weekend. By then, 2009's numbers should be well into 2014's dust anyway.