Ditch the umbrella and slather on the sunscreen. If you thought July was dry, you’re right — it was the driest on record since 1960.
There was no measurable precipitation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last month, and most days had sunny, blue skies, the National Weather Service said.
That’s the driest since before the World’s Fair, before Interstate 5 was finished, before Annette Funicello did “Beach Blanket Bingo” and made bikinis a staple on summer days at Alki.
There are only a few other Julys as dry, said Danny Mercer, National Weather Service meteorologist: 1960 and 1958, measured at Sea-Tac; and in 1930, 1922 and 1896, measured at the downtown Seattle Federal Building.
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It’s not the first time we’ve had an especially dry month. No rain was recorded in August last year, meteorologists say, tying with Augusts in 1967 and 1955.
The current dry spell has created a high risk for wildfires, and meteorologists have issued red-flag warnings in the Cascades because of dry-forest conditions and the threat of lightning in the area.
At least three wildfires are burning east of the mountains: the Moore Point fire, 35 miles northwest of Chelan along Lake Chelan; the Mile Marker 28 fire, along Highway 97 northeast of Goldendale; and the massive Colockum Tarps fire south of Wenatchee.
July’s high temperature at Sea-Tac Airport averaged 78.7 degrees — nearly 3 degrees above normal — and temperatures soared into the high 80s on a number of days early in the month.
On July 1, the temperature hit 89 degrees.
According to the weather service, the forecast for Friday calls for highs in the low 70s with a 40 percent chance of scattered showers. Saturday should be a little warmer with morning clouds and highs in the mid-70s, and more sun is expected on Sunday.
Nancy Bartley: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-8522