Despite morning fog, Thursday is going to be the hottest day of the year so far

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SEATTLE -- Puget Sound hit and exceeded 70 degrees for the first time this year Wednesday, with a high temperature at Sea-Tac of 74.  Today should warm to 75.  However, the added heat and moisture in the atmosphere brings a chance for severe weather Thursday afternoon to evening, especially in the mountains and foothills.

"When the air mass rolls over with a large temperature difference, that's when we get a risk of thunderstorms," Q13 News Meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson says.

This photo is of an amazing lightning strike over Whidbey Island on July 21st, 2016 from SkunkBayWeather.

Cities east of Interstate-5 may get hail, lightning, and gusty winds beginning Thursday after about 2 p.m. through sunset.

Places west of I-5 are also at risk for heavy showers and thunderstorms, just not at our coast line. Stevenson says residents could experience strong or damaging wind gusts and very heavy downpours too.

"We have so much instability because of very warm, moist, air sitting at the ground and then, in comes this push of cooler air, right in off the ocean, interacting with a cold front" Stevenson explains. "Another spin is the way air interacts with the mountains; the mountains cause wind to circulate differently which creates more potential rotation inside thunderstorms."

We have much more on the chance of severe weather this morning beginning on Q13 FOX at 4:30 a.m.

Until then, allow time for the thick fog early morning, and enjoy the very warm Thursday.

Warmer weather, finally!

We're forecast to hit at least 75 degrees Thursday. It took 175 days to get to 70 degrees yesterday. Stevenson said the sun should burn off the cloud layer as the day goes forward allowing for a nice, warm afternoon and stormy evening.

Thursday morning will be foggy and muggy, according to Stevenson. Overnight temperatures shouldn't drop too much but bring the umbrella because rain and thunderstorms will move into the region by late afternoon and evening.

Breezy and scattered showers for Friday and Saturday, but Stevenson says Sunday through Tuesday of next week should feel like the spring we've been waiting for with highs in the low to mid-60s and lows near 45 degrees.