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?
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.
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.
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.
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: