A normal high temperature this time of year is 65 degrees, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "This is kind of unusual, but it has happened," he said of Monday's warmth.
It’s like someone opened a can of July.
Temperatures in the Seattle area made history Monday afternoon, clocking the highest temperature on record for the day — 88 degrees — at 4:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The metro area set the previous record of 87 degrees in 1973.
A normal high temperature this time of year is 65 degrees, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the service.
“This is kind of unusual, but it has happened,” he said of the warmth.
Meteorologists track normal high temperatures year round to capture broad climate trends, measuring daily averages over a 30-year span. The warmest days occur mid-July through mid-August, peaking at 77 degrees, Burg said. “Unless, we get warmer over the next few decades.”
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the service gauges weather conditions for the Seattle area, usually tallies at least a few days above 80 degrees in May, he said. On average, that first happens around May 21.
Monday marks the third day this year above 80 degrees.
Temperatures will cool slightly Tuesday, according to the service’s forecast, reaching approximately 77 degrees with sun.
“Then, Wednesday will be a high around 70 degrees, which is closer to where we should be, but still kind of warm,” Burg said. The forecast for that day shows partly sunny skies.
Though the sunshine and warmth is great for recreation, Burg emphasized people should be cautious about jumping in any water, as its cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. Also, he reminded people to wear a life jacket while boating, and not to leave pets in parked cars.