Weather Blog

Seattle, now the nation's ice box?

Seattle, now the nation's ice box?
Earlier this week, we started 75 Watch by noting we are entering record territory with how long we've had to wait until our first 75 degree day of the year. 72 is our warmest day of the year so far.

(Friday puts us in a tie for fourth place, and we'll have sole possession of fourth place on Saturday, unless someone manages to sneak a blow dryer next to Sea-Tac's temperature gauge -- something I gather the TSA and FBI would strongly recommend against attempting :) )

Anyway, as we sit and wait for the mid 70s to arrive, I had a friend e-mail me from some place that is known for being quite cold, bragging that his location reached the magical mid-70s Thursday.

That got me to wondering -- could Seattle be one of the last places to reach that magic number this year?

So I checked some other typically cold areas in the lower 48 states. Sure enough, some of the stereotypical cold spots have already had a taste of summer -- Minneapolis has hit 95, while Boston has hit 94 and Portland, Maine hit 91.

That means Seattle has probably the coldest maximum high temperature so far this year of any major city in the lower 48 states.

But what about Canada, home to hockey, ice fishing, and toques?

Calgary: 77
Halifax, Nova Scotia: 84
Edmonton: 85
Toronto: 87

Now, Vancouver is at 69 but that makes sense since they are close enough to Seattle to have experienced similar patterns.

OK, we have to be warmer than Alaska, right? I mean there, 55 is considered shorts weather.

Well, break out the shorts. My friend was bragging from Anchorage, where it hit 75 degrees Thursday, and Fairbanks has been 77 or hotter for four straight days. Even cool Juneau, which has a climate on par with Forks, has hit 80 degrees.

So yes, most of southern Alaska has had a warmer day than Seattle yet, and it's really something that it's been 8 degrees warmer in Juneau than Seattle. (Not often those on an Alaskan cruise can expect better weather as they go north!)

But it doesn’t stop with Alaska. Check out some of these international chilly cities that have Seattle trumped:

Oslo, Norway: 73
Stockholm, Sweden: 75
Yakutsk, Siberia, Russia (home to -70 degree winters): 77

Now, take heart -- there are still some places colder than Seattle. Gander, Newfoundland has "only" reached 69, while Yellowknife, Northwest Territories has only reached 68, and the high water mark in Reykjavik, Iceland is 66, (although considerably warmer near the volcano :) )

On the other hand, Reykjavik's expected high temperature Friday was higher than Seattle's…

By the way, I've now finally joined the 21 Century and signed up for a Twitter account. You can find me at