Weather Blog

It's official: 73 percent of Seattleites DONE with this 90 degree heat

It's official: 73 percent of Seattleites DONE with this 90 degree heat »Play Video
June 27, 2015. Seattle, Wash. KOMO PHOTOS

It doesn't matter if it's a "dry heat" or that it might be even 15 degrees hotter somewhere else, as Seattle swelters to its record-tying fifth day in a row at 90 degrees or warmer on Sunday, a vast majority of Seattleites say they've had enough.

Seattle has been in the midst of a nearly year-and-a-half long warm spell, but it's been taken to the next level of late, with not only the hottest June on record by far but now July has started and we have yet to have a day under 90 degrees. The 92 degree reading Saturday was the hottest Independence Day on record here, and that includes 124 years of records. It's been 11 days since we've failed to reach 80 degrees, well on our way to a record there too.

Seattle's average high temperatures in the summer are in the mid-upper 70s and while days in the 80s and 90s do happen in summer, they are usually a few days here and there followed by more days in the 70s -- enough to where most don't need air conditioning. The result is that a vast majority of the region is not only sweating through the day, but sweating through the warm nights with little relief from any fans and nighttime breezes. It's the reality-show version of "Sleepless in Seattle."

Giving some kudos to Weather Channel's 15 day forecast

Giving some kudos to Weather Channel's 15 day forecast
Part of a 15-day forecast initiated June 20 by the Weather Channel for Seattle zip code 98158.

Back on June 20, I wrote a blog giving the Weather Channel a hard time with its 15-day forecast of an unprecedented heat stretch in Seattle. The forecast was for 8 consecutive days at 90 degrees or warmer, which would obliterate all records for Seattle, which before in its 124 years of records had never had more than five.

4th of July doing good job in shaking rainy reputation in Seattle

4th of July doing good job in shaking rainy reputation in Seattle

As a child of the Northwest growing up, 4th of July for me always meant family fun while shivering a bit as the quick chill of the post-sunset marine breezes kicked in, occasional with rain.

Granted, a lot of those years were on the coast, not in Seattle proper, but Seattle does in fact have the distinction of the 4th of July being statistically the wettest day of the month. It's rained 34 times on Independence Day in the past 120 years -- yes, that's only 28 percent of the time as we're pretty squarely in our dry season, but just like how your parents remember walking to school in the snow uphill both ways -- never mind it was in May -- maybe my memory is more clouded than the skies have been?

Would 'swamp' coolers work well on hot Seattle days?

Would 'swamp' coolers work well on hot Seattle days?

As Seattle sweats through a summer that is giving signs of being among the hottest on record, those who have eschewed air conditioning (eh, it's only used 3 days a year!) or live in a place where air conditioning is not an easy option, such as high-rise condo buildings that don’t allow window units and won't work well with portable air conditioners, might now be wondering what their options are.

Some have said they tough it out with a fan in front of a bowl of ice, but that's probably getting old, especially at night as the heat stretches from days to weeks.

I've had a few people ask me if "swamp coolers" or the more technical "evaporative coolers" would work as an alternate. They're usually cheaper than an air conditioning unit, can be ordered online, and some are portable and can work in a small room, such as a bedroom, to survive the heat until September... or October. Or 2016.

June doesn’t just break, but destroys several Seattle temperature records

June doesn’t just break, but destroys several Seattle temperature records
One of many sunny and warm days in Seattle in June. (Photo: Mo Aoun Photography)

The year 1992 is remembered for a few things around here: It's when Microsoft unveiled Windows 3.1 (No more DOS!), grunge music was all the rage, the Seahawks tried their best to get the top draft pick with a 2-14 record (don't ask how it turned out)…

And it was a very toasty year, rewriting several warm weather records in Seattle.

But when the clock struck midnight Tuesday night*, almost all those records in the books got up, grabbed their stuff, and rode off into the sunset.

113 in Walla Walla? Historical E. Washington heat wave shatters records

113 in Walla Walla? Historical E. Washington heat wave shatters records

Sunday was one of those classic summer days in the Desert Southwest. The high temperature in Phoenix was 110 degrees -- four degrees above a normal day on June 28, so Sunday was a bit hot even by Arizona standards.

Still, some in Eastern Washington could have headed there to cool off as the region baked in a historical heat wave.

An incredibly hot air mass destroyed high temperature records across Eastern Washington, not only reaching unheard of levels in June, but approaching some all-time heat records as we sit still four weeks short of the statistical peak of summer heat.

Dozens of temperature records broken Saturday

Dozens of temperature records broken Saturday
June 27, 2015. Seattle, Wash. KOMO PHOTOS

The heat wave Saturday wasn't just impressive for the actual temperature readings, but for the time of year. Some of the temperature readings observed across the Pacific Northwest are usually reserved for the peak heat of the summer.

Some spots in Oregon and southeastern Washington broke not just daily temperature records, but all-time June records!

Here are a list of record reports from the various offices of the National Weather Service:

What causes those 'Jellyfish' type clouds spotted over the South Sound?

What causes those 'Jellyfish' type clouds spotted over the South Sound?
Photo courtesy: Kelsey Holloway from near Olympia on June 26, 2015.

The sight is a bit surreal -- floating clouds that look a bit like jellyfish floating in the skies over the South Sound. An alien species?

No, something much more mundane -- just regular atmospheric physics at work.

Why you can escape this weekend's heat, but not next weekend's

Why you can escape this weekend's heat, but not next weekend's

Seattle is set to reach the 90s this weekend, but there is relief to be found by making a jaunt to the coast where it's expected to stay in the 70s, or far North Sound where it'll stay in the low 80s. It'll be spread of temperatures similar to the last time Seattle reached the upper 80s in early June.

But a second heat event scheduled for the end of next week into the following weekend also has Seattle set to reach the 90s, only this time, there will be no escape. Even the coast will bake in the upper 80s and 90s.

How does the coast get off scot free in one heat event but not the other? It's all on the wind, or lack thereof.

Northern Lights make for brilliant show over Pacific Northwest

Northern Lights make for brilliant show over Pacific Northwest
Photo: Holly Davison Photography

Northern Lights possible Monday night, and other weather tidbits

Northern Lights possible Monday night, and other weather tidbits
Northern Lights come out early on the morning of June 23, 2015. (Photo courtesy: AlpineMike's Outdoor Photography.

UPDATE! The Northern Lights did come out Monday night!!! Here is my blog with the budding gallery of photos - incliding the one above taken by AlpineMike's Outdoor Photography. Thanks so much to all who stayed up so late to get photos!

A sunny and 76 degree day around Seattle might seem rather mundane, but we actually have quite a bit going on in the weather department that is worth noting.

Probably the most exciting is a strong geomagnetic storm that is in progress Monday and holds promise to last through Monday night -- at least long enough to get it dark around here.

8 days of 90s in Seattle in 2 weeks?!? Why 15-day forecasts don't work

8 days of 90s in Seattle in 2 weeks?!? Why 15-day forecasts don't work
Sun sets in Seattle on June 19, 2015. Photo by Mark Ashmun.

You can give them an A for effort, but a C- in execution…

While weather forecasting technology has made several important advancements over the past few years, the ability to get a good, consistently accurate forecast beyond 7 days still remains rather elusive.

A few time lapse videos that will knock your socks off

Photographers have been busy getting some great shots of Mother Nature lately, both locally and around the globe.

Let's start locally -- I'm sure many of you saw the incredible sunset Wednesday night. Well, Michael Reid did the photos one better by capturing a time lapse video of the sunset from his perch high atop the Columbia Center (video above).

Seattle warm stretch to last into September ... 2016?!?

Seattle warm stretch to last into September ... 2016?!?
Sun rises over Seattle on June 16, 2015. (Photo: Meg McDonald.)

It's the third Thursday of the month, or as Seattle meteorologists are starting to know it as: "The day the new long range maps come out and say the same thing as last month's did."

Yes, it's time for the update to the monthly 30- and 90-day seasonal outlooks, and yes, it's pretty much the same as June's. And May's. And April's. And... you get the picture. At least for the temperature part.

Shifting winds to present extra challenge to U.S. Open golfers

Shifting winds to present extra challenge to U.S. Open golfers
Beau Hossler, amateur, watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in University Place, Wash. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The entire focus of the golfing world will be on the Puget Sound region this week, with the U.S. Open taking place at University Place's Chambers Bay golf course from Thursday through Sunday.

While the beauty of the region will certainly be a topic of discussion during the broadcasts, I'm sure our rather soggy/cool reputation will come up once or thrice as well.

But while you might think rain would be the biggest challenge golfers might have assumed when they started plotting their strategy of playing a Pacific Northwest course (and it will, at least a little bit) it turns out it's the wind that could have a far greater effect on their scores.

Some of the golfers have already experienced the fickle Puget Sound weather in the practice rounds this week.