Weather Blog

Many moons since Seattle has set summer low temperature records

Many moons since Seattle has set summer low temperature records
Photo courtesy: Tim Durkan Photography

In keeping up with the number of weather records and interesting statistics surrounding our current warm spell, I stumbled upon something on the other end of the spectrum: How difficult it's become to set record lows in the summer.

In looking up the record high Monday when he hit 91° in Seattle (it was 95, set in 1993), the record low stuck out: 44° in 1950.

Seattle meteorologists stealing a public sanity trick from Canadians?

Seattle meteorologists stealing a public sanity trick from Canadians?

Seattle is in the midst of another week-plus streak of 80 degree temperatures -- the second time this summer with much of August still tied behind our back.

While there are some sun fans who love the 80s and are basking in this somewhat rare extended warm pattern, there are a vast population of long-time locals -- especially those without air conditioning -- who are longing for the days when we could see a marine cloud in the morning and a '7' on the high temperature (no, not counting when it's "87").

What a shot! 'Face' in clouds mimics Alaska Air jet?

What a shot! 'Face' in clouds mimics Alaska Air jet?
Photo of a cumulonimbus cloud towering over Sea-Tac Airport at sunrise on Aug. 2, 2014. (Photo: Tom Korocz)

Talk about being in the right place at the right time...

Tom Korocz was at Sea-Tac Airport Saturday morning when he noticed a tall, cumulonimbus cloud towering in the sky as the sun rose around 6:15 a.m.

Seattle's summer peaks Saturday, starts slow slide toward winter

Seattle's summer peaks Saturday, starts slow slide toward winter

It's been a very warm and sunny summer so far with more of the same on tap for the next several days. While it hasn't been super hot, the usual cooling marine clouds have been absent in Seattle and for the many without air conditioning, the nights haven't been all that comfortable.

 

For those who long for cooler weather, I don't have good news in the immediate future, but there is a silver lining to Aug. 2: Seattle has reached the pinnacle of our steady climb to the warmest and driest time of year, and now, it's all downhill from here.

July finishes as 2nd warmest on record at Sea-Tac

July finishes as 2nd warmest on record at Sea-Tac
Sunset looking west from the Fox Island bridge on July 27, 2014. (Photo: Jerome Petteys Design)

If it seems our seemingly days-on end of 80s this past month is a bit unusual, you would be right.

This July goes down as the 2nd hottest on record at Sea-Tac Airport if you count by average temperature (high+low divided by 2) or 4th hottest if you just want to count high temperatures.

Why you don't see Eastern Wash. wildfire plumes until the afternoon

Why you don't see Eastern Wash. wildfire plumes until the afternoon
Video from Air 4 shows a smoke plume rising from the Chiwaukum Fire Complex on July 30, 2014.

Local social media posts have been perking up each afternoon noting tall plumes of clouds over the Cascades. What you're seeing are smoke and the "pyrocumulus" clouds created by the wildfires burning in Eastern Washington. The heat from the fires is its own engine for creating rising air that cools and condenses into clouds.

But why don't we normally see those clouds over here until the afternoon?

5 years ago today, Seattle baked like it never had before

Those of you who were around here 5 years ago today were likely trying to find some place -- any place -- for relief from the heat.

July 29, 2009 remains the hottest day ever recorded in modern Seattle history, be it Sea-Tac Airport or the Downtown Federal Building, with a reading of 103 degrees. Some spots, like Boeing Field and the NOAA station at Sand Point, were even hotter, reaching 105 degrees. Everett hit 100, Bellingham hit 96, and Vancouver, WA took the heat prize with a 108 degree reading!

Long range forecasts maintain generally warm pattern through February

Long range forecasts maintain generally warm pattern through February
Sen sets over Seattle on July 17, 2014. (Photo courtesy: Bruce Hogarth)

For much of late winter and spring, the message has been the same by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center: Expect a warmer than normal summer.

So far, July is delivering, with several days of 80s and 90s around the Pacific Northwest, and even a few triple digit days east of the Cascades. Seattle is just one spot in the region, but it's a whopping 3.0 degrees above normal so far and through Sunday, is tied for the third-hottest July on record at Sea-Tac Airport (Average temperpature (high+low/2) so far: 68.6° -- record is 69.5° in 2009; 2nd is 68.8°.)

And the forecast for this week brings a return of more warm-to-hot weather to finish off the month and potentially cement the month as 2nd warmest on record.

So what about August? Those same long-range forecasts suggest more of the same. And September. And October. And November. And...see a theme developing?

By the numbers: Wednesday's record rainfall

After the first three weeks of July began generally sunny and warm-to-hot, things changed in a hurry on July 23rd as a potent storm rolled through Western Washington, bringing a record amount of rainfall to the Puget Sound region.

Here are some of the statistics from the storm:

Northwest wildfires take 'shine' out of Midwestern sunshine

Northwest wildfires take 'shine' out of Midwestern sunshine
Photo: Jonathan Yuhas, KSTP-TV.

The wildfires raging across Washington, Oregon and Idaho are not only bringing a dense, smoky haze to much of the area just to the east of the Cascades, but its effects are being felt over 1,000 miles away across the Upper Midwest.

Jonathan Yuhas, a meteorologist with KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, noted that skies over Minnesota have taken a "frosty haze" to them ever since the wildfires have erupted here in the Northwest.

Seattle's break from heat wave comes with a price for Central Washington

Seattle's break from heat wave comes with a price for Central Washington
The view from near Leavenworth, Wash. as the Chiwaukum Creek fire continues to burn. (Photo courtesy: Dominic Urbano, FallenLeafImaging.com, Leavenworth WA" Backlink to appreciated but not required.

Many of us in Western Washington are breathing a sigh of relief that our days-long stretch of 80-90 degree weather is coming to an end.

But one region's relief is another region's pain. The process that is cooling down Western Washington is wreaking havoc in Central Washington and the firefighting efforts over there.