Along the Montlake Cut, swimmers Saturday basked in sunshine (and likely too close to one another for health officials’ liking). Runners chugged along Seattle’s city streets drenched in sweat. Boaters filled the city’s waterways.

A high of 86 was recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The previous record there for May 9 was 83 degrees, set last year.

“We have high pressure over the area and that leads to offshore flow,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg, meaning air flow was coming to Western Washington from inland areas rather than the cool Pacific Ocean. 

“Most places, it was probably a record-breaking day,” Burg said of the Puget Sound region, which featured mostly sunny skies. 

In Olympia, temperatures rose to 85, matching a 1987 record. In Hoquiam, the high hit 85, two degrees above the high mark set last year. And Bellingham, at 82 degrees, soared 5 degrees above its previous top temperature for the date of 77, established in 1975 and matched last year.

Temperatures were expected to remain in the upper 70s to mid 80s Sunday, though places close to the water were expected to be cooler.


But, onshore flow is expected to return shortly, Burg said, bringing a chance of rain Monday and the possibility of thunderstorms Tuesday.

In Seattle, the sun’s rays are sometimes carrying more gravity than public officials’ warnings to stay apart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With cloudy weather ahead, at least social distancing will be easier for some to bear.