Weather Blog

When does summer REALLY start in Seattle?

When does summer REALLY start in Seattle?

Sure, the calendar says summer begins on or around June 21 with the summer solstice, but longtime residents around here know that is rarely the case.

Sunday was proof positive that the Fourth of July seems to fall outside of summer. Yes, we have had a string of fairly sunny and warm Fourths in the 2000s but the fact remains that July 4 is statistically the wettest day of the month, and 2010 just added another year to the pile.

No, I'd always said summer begins on July 5 -- a bit of a tongue in cheek that the weather always gets better right after the Fourth. Most other local meteorologists, including the National Weather Service folks and even Prof. Cliff Mass at the University of Washington tend to peg July 12th.

This chart seems to agree with mid July. It's a graph of the probability of a rainy day in Seattle -- note how it nosedives in mid July:

More specifically, this chart indicates summer (or, at least the really dry season) starts along the lines of July 17. (Note the big dip right around late July/early August? That's why the marquee SeaFair events are scheduled for that weekend -- they've done their homework!)

Anyway, this year? It's July 7 (Hah! My start date was closer :) ). As you've probably heard, it's going to be not only sunny, but hot as highs are expect to climb to near 90.

For those who like to chase records, here is what you are aiming for:

  Wednesday Thursday Friday
Seattle 88 (1953) 87 (1985) 91 (1985)
Olympia 95 (1953) 94 (1952) 95 (1985)
Bellingham 88 (1953) 85 (1952) 85 (1979)
Forks 80 (1996) 82 (1968) 85 (2007)
Hoquiam 81 (1996) 87 (1956) 83 (2002)

Enjoy summer, now that it's here!