Heat records were broken for the second day in a row Wednesday in some Western Washington locales, including in the Seattle area.
The temperature hit 95 degrees around 3:15 p.m. at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The previous record there for June 12 was 85 degrees, set in 1999.
This is the first day this year the temperature at Sea-Tac has reached 90 degrees.
If it had warmed up just 2 degrees more, Wednesday would have been the hottest June day ever recorded at Sea-Tac. The weather service recorded 96 degrees there in 1955, 1995 and 2017.
Records were also set in other parts of Western Washington. Olympia notched 93 degrees, beating out its previous record of 86 degrees, set in 2002. Bellingham and Hoquiam saw highs of 85 and 84, respectively, one degree higher than their previous records set around two decades ago.
Wednesday’s high temperatures follow a record-breaking Tuesday across Western Washington.
Seattle tied its previous heat record that day with the National Weather Service station recording 80 degrees, last seen on that date in 1989.
“It’s tricky to forecast temperatures when we have the extremes of heat or cold in Western Washington,” weather service meteorologist Kirby Cook said Wednesday morning.
The heat is courtesy of an upper-level ridge parked over our region, as well as a flow of wind that brings warm air to the coast from the interior of the state. Although that warmer air from Eastern Washington flows up and over the Cascade Mountains, it does not cool off on its way back down the mountains, Cook said.
“It’s counterintuitive, but air expands as it goes from higher pressure to lower pressure, and it cools. When it comes down (from mountain elevation), it compresses and gets warmer,” said Cook.
Relatively cooler marine air should be flowing into the Puget Sound region again toward the end of the week. The relief may not be immediate and sharp, but “we will have a more fully developed onshore push that will bring Friday down to the low to mid-70s,” Cook said.
Friday through the weekend is expected to remain dry and in the mid-70s.
The weather service has been tweeting warnings to drink plenty of water; avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses; remember not to leave children or pets in hot cars; and to prevent wildfires, which are more likely now that we are in our dry season.
“We haven’t even hit the summer solstice yet, and our warmest month climatologically is July,” Cook said, “so we potentially have a lot of warm days ahead.”
Seattle Times reporter Asia Fields contributed to this report.