Story Summary

Near record heat grips the Northwest

A warm summer front ushered in some of the hottest weather of the early summer season on June 30.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

Not quite as hot, but still sizzlin’

seattle summertime lake unionSEATTLE — After some warm temperatures– we’ll be cooling things off a touch in the Pacific Northwest.

Yesterday we hit some very unseasonably hot weather in the Evergreen State. Some new record highs set yesterday: 107 in Moses Lake, 106 for Walla Walla and Yakima, 89 at SeaTac airport, 88 in Olympia, 87 in Seattle at the National Weather Service offices at Sand Point. The hottest we’ve been all year was last Sunday with the peak of this heat wave when we racked up a 93 degree temperature at SeaTac.

Today started with a few marine layer clouds in some spots– but they didn’t last long. That little extra effort the hot summer sun used to burn off those clouds means that it wasn’t baking the earth’s surface for part of the morning. The result is slightly cooler temperatures for the region.

Today’s highs will be still quite warm, considering the normal for this part of July is about 73 degrees. But, today’s record of 92 looks quite safe. I’m forecasting high temps in the mid-80s this afternoon. Still hot if you’re headed east of the Cascades or south of Salem, OR where there’s still a heat advisory in effect all day.

As the ridge of high pressure weakens slightly, we’re going to see more cool ocean air come in during the overnight hours to help keep our temperatures down. The 4th of July looks to have a few morning clouds and some nice sunshine– with temps topping out in the mid-70s. The weekend also looks great with temps near 80 in the afternoon and lots of July sunshine. Remember water temperatures are still cold in many spots– especially in rivers running out of the Cascades are all snow-melt– so it can be a shock to your system and freeze your muscles in seconds, even for the strongest swimmers. Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and Green Lake all have water temps 65-70, cooler water for the Puget Sound around 60– and even colder in the Pacific Ocean with some parts of the Washington Coast reporting water temperatures in the mid-50s. Always keep an eye on kids near water– and always have them in life jackets. Always.


Still a scorcher, but a little cooler

SEATTLE — Bob Fleetwood didn’t find what he was looking for at Stoneway Hardware in Wallingford. He wanted a fan to cool off his new apartment, but there was only one small desk fan left on the shelf.

photo“I’m probably going to go to a couple more places, see if they have them,” he said Monday. “And if they don’t, I may come back tomorrow and buy one here.”

Manager Jerry Smith said a lot of people have been coming by, asking about ways to stay cool. He says swamp coolers are an alternative to air conditioning units.

“It’s just taking advantage of the fact that when water evaporates, it cools things down,” he explained. “Same as when you sweat and there’s a breeze, it cools you down.”

Smith doesn’t sell swamp coolers at his store, because he said they’re not needed most of the year. But there are videos online that show you how to make one.

“Homemade swamp coolers are popular, or a mist system in front of the fan,” said Smith. “But you got to be real careful, you’re not dripping water into the fan motor for obvious reasons.”

He doesn’t suggest wasting the time building something that could end up being a fire hazard.

“One of the easiest things you can do is stretch a wet towel across your fan. Just put it halfway across. That’s a real basic swamp cooler.”

He says that should work for the few days that we have to deal with this heat.

As temperatures soar, people are looking for ways to escape the heat. While an A/C unit might be out of the question, here are a couple of DIY solutions to beat the heat.


Record-setting heat wave grips the Northwest

SEATTLE — Summer has some sizzle here this first week of July!

We closed out June with record temps Sunday in Bellingham in the upper 80s and coastal Hoquiam in the low 80s. Warmest in the whole region was Ontario, OR at blistering 106 degrees on Sunday. Seattle was hot as well– with temps getting into the low 90s. It was 93 at SeaTac for the official temperature– making that the hottest day of 2013 so far. It was not a record though, the number to beat was 96.

Today, however, will likely see more records fall. The number to beat at SeaTac is 87– and my forecast high is 90 degrees. We’re going to slowly cool things down a couple of degrees every day– as more marine air sneaks into the forecast to moderate out the sweltering NW heat.

It looks nice and dry for the 4th of July holiday weekend. Except for some Cascade pop-up t-storms this week– all the rain and clouds stay away around the Puget Sound. Independence Day itself looks like it will still be warm– with temps about 5 degrees above normal– but not quite as hot. My forecast high 79 beautiful degrees. Enjoy!

Local News

The heat is on! Seattle sizzles in summer sun

SEATTLE — If you thought this weekend was hot, just wait for Monday.

We are likely going to beat records Monday in much of the area. The Seattle area is expecting low 90’s for a high. People are doing all they can to stay cool and stay safe.

At Green Lake, people got up early to get their exercise in, before it gets too hot.


Madison Park got a bit crowded on Sunday, at least down by the water.

The CDC has tips on staying cool and safe in extreme heat:

-Drink plenty of water

-Avoid alcoholic drinks

-If you can, stay in a cool place with AC

-Check on people who are at a greater risk of illness, like elderly and young children

-Never leave a person or pet in a parked vehicle

SEATTLE — While summer can be fun, freezing water and fireworks can present real dangers if safety precautions aren’t taken.


Hotsy-totsy: First day in July a summer scorcher

SEATTLE — The temperature crept over 90 degrees Sunday afternoon, prompting some folks to hit the city’s parks and beaches to soak up the sun and others to try to cool off.


For these puppies at Green Lake, it really was the lazy, “dog days’ of summer.

The temperature hit 92 degrees at 5:53 p.m. at Sea-Tac Airport, the National Weather Service said.

According to, this is the earliest date it has been this hot in Seattle since 2009.

King County Roads said the high temperatures caused two concrete panels of a Renton road to buckle. A portion of SE 128th St. (Cemetery Rd.) had to be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between 164th Ave. SE and 168th Ave. SE. near the Renton city limits.  Repairs are under way.

And the heat is expected to continue through the early part of the week.

But that was nothing compared to other areas of the western U.S.

In Death Valley, Calif., resident Mike Wood says he’s used to the heat. But when his running shoes begin to melt, he starts to pay attention.

“The ground temperatures here can approach 100 degrees so you’re talking about pretty much boiling the shoes … everything that kind of holds the shoe together kind of comes apart,” Wood said.

Wood hit the pavement running despite temperatures that hit 127 degrees on Saturday — the hottest point on Earth for the day. The National Weather Service is predicting another high near 127 for Sunday as a record-setting heat wave bakes the Southwest into the work week.


Madison Park got a bit crowded on Sunday, at least down by the water.

Already, the hot spell has settled over Phoenix (119 degrees) and set a record in Lancaster, Calif. (111 degrees). Las Vegas tied its record high of 115 degrees Saturday.

US Airways had to cancel 18 flights Saturday because of the heat, spokesman Todd Lehmacher said. He said planes are certified for takeoff up to 118 degrees, but the temperature crept up to 119 degrees in Phoenix on Saturday.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for large parts of California, Nevada and Arizona, and a heat advisory for other parts of Nevada.

Civic and emergency officials throughout the Southwest say if there was ever a time to worry, this would be it. The reason isn’t just the oppressive heat that is plaguing the region: It’s the fact it is expected to hang around, and possibly even get worse, over the next few days.


At Green Lake, folks got some exercise in and shed some clothes, too.