Is it possible that we’ll get through this summer without the stretches of sweltering and record-breaking heat we had in the previous two years?
Though it’s still too early to say for sure, Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said it’s looking likely.
With half of August behind us and the nights growing longer, we are climatologically at a point where we may have seen much of our hottest weather already, she said.
High temperatures have been more moderate this year, compared to some recent years, because the high-pressure ridges that typically bring hot and dry weather when they build up in the area haven’t been set up long enough for us to have a really hot summer, Kovacik said.
“We would never rule out the chance for a period of hot weather,” Kovacik said, “but by mid-September, our outlook will be headed more toward the cooler season.”
Steve Reedy, another weather service meteorologist, said the short-term forecast backs climatology statistics that show we are probably past our best chance for a prolonged heat wave in Seattle.
From here on out, he said, it’s a downward trend: “I don’t see anything that would crank this up.”
In the past several summers, the latest hot day in August happened toward the end of the month: Aug. 21 in 2018 (91 degrees recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport), Aug. 28 in 2017 (88 degrees), and Aug. 26 in 2016 (92 degrees).
Nothing in the weekend forecast contradicts the climatological prediction, either, according to Kovacik.
Saturday and Sunday are expected to be dry and slightly cooler, with an onshore flow and highs in the lower 70s on Saturday and the mid-70s on Sunday, she said. Areas north of Seattle, along the Canadian border and in the San Juan islands have a chance of showers on Sunday.
It’s predicted to warm up a bit next week, with a high on Monday in the upper 70s and a high on Tuesday in the lower 80s, said Kovacik. Tuesday’s heat won’t last, however: A weak weather system moves in Wednesday to cool us off, said meteorologist Chris Burke.
While Burke doesn’t see any notable hot weather coming over the next seven days, he cautions not to write off the chance completely.
“It is August,” Burke said. “It could still get hot.”