Meteorologists say this weekend is going to be warm. We may even break 80 degrees on Sunday, Mother's Day.

Share story

There’s a reason why it’s been heating up slowwwwwwly for the past few days.

It’s so you can find your shorts. Remember those? And your sunglasses — or maybe you’ll need to buy a new pair, since people in the Seattle area are known for buying piles of sunglasses because it’s been so long since they needed them.

You may need both shorts and sunglasses Saturday and Sunday. The National Weather Service says after a slow creep Friday up into the 60s — just a little above normal — Saturday is expected to be in the upper 60s to upper 70s.

By Sunday, Mother’s Day, the Seattle area is expected to steam into the upper 70s, maybe even break 80 in the South Sound and a few other areas.

That would be about 10 to 15 degrees above normal temperatures, said NWS Meteorologist Gary Schneider, although temperatures aren’t likely to break records in Seattle. Thank a high-pressure area and an offshore flow of air, from land to water.

Hot weather has brought out a host of safety experts, including those worried that you’ve forgotten how hot the inside of a car can get in the sun. Even with temperatures in the 70s, the inside of a car can reach 130 degrees in a matter of minutes, experts say. That means bad things for babies, small children and pets.

The Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan said the shelter has already had to rescue a pet from a potentially dangerous heat-related situation this week.

Pets can’t cool themselves well in a car, he said, and always need water and shade.

Boating-safety experts warn that despite the sudden heat, water temperatures in rivers, lakes and Puget Sound are still very chilly, so be sure to take precautions around the water and assume that the water temperatures are still stuck in winter — because they are.

Those precautions, in addition to herding the kids carefully, would be those offered by Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw, a Coast Guard spokesman. They include not only having a personal flotation device or life jacket but actually wearing it. “It is much more difficult to locate, access, or don a PFD at the moment the accident occurs,” Bradshaw said, very reasonably.

Consider taking a paddler-education course, he urged, and participating in Operation Paddle Smart, a Coast Guard initiative that provides contact-information stickers for small paddle-driven vessels. That helps the agency not waste taxpayer cash when searching for the owner of a boat found adrift — an owner who may well be safely ashore, drinking a margarita. Another good idea: file a “float plan” for your trip with some landlubber.

Other good tips for the weekend: Have visual or sound signaling devices; get your boat inspected ahead of time — especially those through-hull fittings and hoses, and don’t BUI. Alcohol+boat motion, vibration, sun, wind, spray = impaired driver.

Rivers in King County are running high, swift and cold because that big mountain snowpack — remember winter? — is melting fast, King County officials report.

“Warm weather and cold water can be a dangerous combination,” warned Christie True, director of the county’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

If you just want to swim, said Dr. David Fleming, director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, try pools and lifeguarded beaches — a lot safer than in rivers this time of year. If the siren song of the river is calling you, scout ahead and wear a PFD, officials advised.

Try to make it through the weekend intact, because Monday should look a lot like Sunday. But then — just about when those shorts probably need to be thrown into the wash — we’ll starting back down to normal temperatures, thanks to that old, familiar onshore flow.

The high-pressure area, Schneider said, will be moving east, leaving us behind.


“It never lasts,” Schneider said. “You can’t have 80 degrees every day. It’s not Phoenix.”

Carol M. Ostrom: 206-464-2249 or