Updated Saturday 6:30 p.m.
We've been breaking weather records for weeks around the Sound, so it's not too big of a surprise that we have another one on the Fourth of July: SeaTac hit 92 degrees today, breaking the record for the hottest 4th of July ever (the last one at this level was way back in 1972 when we hit 91). We've had many years where we've spent the holiday with rain, temps in the 60s, and fireworks displays that were lost in the low cloud deck, so for the heat-lovers, this one's for you!
The fireworks-watching-weather will be perfect in that it will be clear and comfortable. Starry skies and temperatures in the 70s will be common for those out watching the big displays around the region. No worries about leaving the jacket at home--you won't need it out there this year! Early morning lows will ultimately drop into the 50s in the outlying areas and 60s downtown Seattle...a warm jumping-off point for an even hotter day on Sunday.
We often joke that summer begins on the 5th of July in Seattle, but the date will be a stand out this time because it will likely go down as the warmest day of the year so far. The computer models are still indicating that our current hot, dry north winds will become even hotter, even drier northeasterly winds by early Sunday--this will force the mercury up even higher for most of Western Washington. This will push Forks and Bellingham at least into the upper 80s, and middle to upper 90s are possible around the Sound. There will even be a few spots near the foothills, like Issaquah and Enumclaw, that hover close to the century mark.
With such low humidity, gusty dry winds, and extreme heat, our fire danger becomes even more critical. A RED FLAG WARNING is in place for much of the state tomorrow as a result.
Monday looks just slightly cooler, and we probably won't get out of the 90s until Tuesday or Wednesday. The record number of days in a row at 90 or above in Seattle is 5--we will easily tie that Sunday, and will likely surpass that by Monday.
The long range models do finally bring in a significant pattern change by Friday and Saturday, with a relaxing jet stream that brings cooler air back into the region. If they pan out, we'll finally be closer to 80 than 90...still warmer than average in this very hot summer, but perhaps a bit more comfortable by Northwest standards.
Have a wonderful, safe and happy 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!
Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team