The National Weather Service declared Tuesday the hottest March day on record in the Seattle area as unusually warm temperatures broke records across Western Washington.
Temperatures at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reached 79 degrees around 3 p.m. Tuesday, beating out a previous record of 78 degrees set on March 29, 2004.
The weather service began recording temperatures at the airport in 1945, said meteorologist Johnny Burg. But Tuesday’s temperatures also broke records going back to 1894, when the weather service recorded temperatures in downtown Seattle.
Other cities in Western Washington have also seen record-breaking temperatures, Burg said. Olympia saw its second-warmest March day on record, reaching 76 degrees by 3 p.m. On the Olympic Peninsula, Quillayute saw temperatures in the low 80s and Hoquiam reached 78 degrees, making it the hottest March days on record in those areas.
The nice weather will continue through the workweek, although temperatures will cool, Burg said. The Seattle area is expected to see a high of 76 Wednesday and temperatures in the low 60s Thursday and Friday. Rain should return to the region Friday night, with a chance of showers lasting through early next week, he said.
This warm stretch isn’t an indicator of what temperatures will be like the rest of the year, according to the National Weather Service. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a warmer-than-average spring for Western Washington.