Weather Blog

Eh, it's been hotter

Eh, it's been hotter
As temperatures look to climb over 90 degrees for three days in a row here, you might wonder how often that occurs.

Actually, it's not that rare. Seattle typically gets two good heat waves a year where we get close to, or over 90. And three days of 90+ is not unheard of. It just happened two summers ago, in fact.

So let's look back at some of Seattle's worst heat waves. Arguably the worst was in August of 1981. That's when we set the current record of five consecutive days over 90 -- a stretch of 91, 93, 99 98 and 93 between Aug. 7 and 11.

But 1977 has a good case too. While that "only" had four days in a row over 90, take a look at this stretch from August 1 through the 17th:

87, 89, 88, 83, 89, 87, 86, 85, 91, 95, 95, 96, 86, 79, 85, 93, 95.

The temperature then dropped to 76…and that was the warmest temperature the rest of the month. In fact, from the 19th on, there was one day at 72, one at 71, and the rest were all in the 60s with frequent rain. Enough so that August 1977 is the third wettest August in Sea-Tac history, along with being 4th warmest.

(That's interesting because it was reverse this year. In June, Seattle was on par to shatter the coldest June on record, then a warm stretch at the end thwarted it. In August 1977, On August 17th the average high temperature was 88 degrees so far that month -- would have broken the record by 6 full degrees. Then the chilly stretch knocked it down to No. 4.)

The hottest month is August 1967.  That had a nearly two week stretch of mid 80s or hotter, including one day at 98. You can see that chart here:

Other heat waves of note: July 21-24 in 2006 we went 97, 96, 95 and then 92. On July 20, 1994, we hit the all time record high of 100 degrees, then went 93 the next two days.

So while it'll be hot for a while, at least at this point, it's not looking historical.