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Sizzling Summer Across The Northwest Setting Records

6 Jul 2015, 1:32 pm


For a part of the country well-known for its grey skies and relatively cool temperatures, the Pacific Northwest’s summer has truly been one few will forget anytime soon, and it’ll certainly be remembered in record books.

The searing heat had Seattle, Washington in the low 90s through the 4th of July weekend, and broadening out, the city has had its warmest start to 2015 in recorded history.

Seattle, world-famous for its grey skies and temperate climate, has basked in 80°+ heat for nearly two weeks, despite an average early July high temperature just in the mid-70s. In fact, down I-5 in Portland, Oregon has had more 90° days so far this summer than Atlanta, Georgia. Portland’s average early July high temperature is in the upper 70s.

The heat, however, hasn’t just been confined to the Pacific coastline. Interior regions like Spokane, Washington saw its warmest June on record, recording an average temperature of 71.4° during the month, a full 1.5° warmer than the previous warmest June (1922). Boise, Idaho is a full 5.2° above average in 2015 so far, with 143 days of above average temperatures compared to just 42 below.

So what’s causing all the heat? The jet stream has been parked over southern British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, for much of June and into early July, allowing warm air to freely flow northward into the Northwest. The desert origin of the airmass has also kept it unusually dry, with just 0.23″ of rainfall in Seattle during the month of June, well below the city’s average of 1.57″ for the month. And unfortunately, the dry air and heat has led to several wildfires in interior Washington, Oregon and through Idaho as well, destroying homes and burning tens of thousands of acres.

In the shorter term, however, there is some much-needed relief on the way. Temperatures are expected to drop closer to seasonal levels along the west coast by the end of the work week and into the weekend. Be sure to stay with WeatherNation for the latest forecast.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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