Trophies all around for those who have not melted yet this week. It’s never easy in our neck of the woods when the heat hits us like this, primarily due to the fact that many people do not have any form of air conditioning.
For the majority of the summer, a fan in the window at night sufficiently cools homes. But, when overnight lows stay in the 60s, there’s not much cool air to be found. This can make sleeping insanely difficult for some. This has been the case for the past few nights.
Consider the following graphs, which show the highest minimum temperature for each year since 1998 and the number of days with the minimum temperature greater than or equal to 60 degrees for each year since 1999.
So far this year, we’ve had five nights with lows in the 60s—in other words, five nights with “uncomfortable sleeping weather.” Three of those nights happened this week, all in a row. The highest low (which sounds like an oxymoron, I know) was 64 degrees (two nights in a row!). At least it wasn’t like last year’s June heatwave, which had an overnight low in the 70s (ouch).
When the nighttime temperatures finally start to settle down, it usually signals an end to the heatwave. Unfortunately, we still have a few nights to go with the possibility of staying in the 60s, which could break a record—more on that in a moment.
How about the daytime temperatures? Most people generally pay attention to this metric more than the previously mentioned one (unless you’re a weather nerd like me).
We had our second official 90-degree day this week at KPAE, which is quite a feat for us in the Southwest Snohomish County region. Since 1999, we’ve had 10 years with at least one 90-degree day, but only four with more than one (and yes, this year is one of those four). Considering that we aren’t even in August yet (our climatologically warmest month of the year), that’s pretty impressive.
I know what you’re thinking—when will we finally get some relief? Unfortunately, as alluded to above, we still have to contend with the heat for a few more days.
The upper-level ridge in place is very stubborn and will continue to be for the majority of the weekend. This is contributing to the persistent heat. High temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-to-upper 80s on Friday and Saturday, with the chance of hitting 90 again not completely out of the question for some areas. Lows are expected to be in the 60s for Friday and Saturday night. If that happens (and Thursday night stays in the 60s as well), we would have six days in a row with nighttime temperatures in the 60s, which would break the previous records of five days set in both 2017 and 2009.
The cooling trend begins on Sunday, with highs expected to be in the low-80s (which is still quite warm but definitely an improvement). An upper-level trough is looking possible later in the day on Sunday, which will contribute to the cooling.
By Monday, highs are expected to drop back down into the mid-70s. Beyond that, models are suggesting highs in the low-70s, which will be quite welcome. The relief is coming, don’t worry! There even is the slight chance that we could see some light showers next week.
In the meantime, an Excessive Heat Warning is still in effect through Saturday night. Make sure to take necessary precautions in order to prevent any type of heat-related illnesses. Here’s a snippet of the warning from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service.
Also, don’t forget about your pets! The following image was put out in 2020 by NWS Seattle (and features my two black labs) in order to raise awareness of how to help pets in the heat.
Have a great weekend. Stay cool out there—and remember, the relief is coming!
— By Kelsie Nelson
Kelsie Nelson is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who grew up in Lynnwood and now lives in Kenmore. After writing weather blogs as a KOMO News intern, she discovered a passion for writing about weather. You can learn more in her blog www.wxnoggin.com and you can also follow her on Twitter at @kels_wx3. Questions can be directed to Kelsie at email@example.com.