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Terra Firma

Another round of record-setting heat is coming this week



The headline says it all. We have a classic thermal trough setting up on Tuesday, we cook on Wednesday, and the heat falls apart on Thursday. We started June slightly warmer than normal (two outlier days that were very below normal) and with a typical, June Gloom, pattern. There is almost no chance for rain in the next 10 days (anything past 5 days is throwing darts). There is a tiny chance of some drizzle on Friday right now, but even that is too far off to predict with confidence.

Let’s start with Tuesday. Winds will pick up and be out of the north but then die out around midday. Kirkland is looking at a high of 80 to 83, depending on your location. High hills and right along the water, think 80 degrees, Totem Lake, our hot spot, 83. Tuesday night we will only get down to 60 degrees with a blanket of clouds moving in.

Wednesday is a little complicated. The models are calling for clouds to hold for most of the day and little wind, so this is a weak thermal trough. We’re looking at record-setting temperatures of 86 to 90 degrees in Kirkland. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA) the official weather forecast is a high of 89 degrees. This would break the previous record of 85. As I’ve written in the past, the computer models don’t do a good job of capturing the impact of thermal troughs in the forecast and usually predict 2 degrees lower than actual, so right now, I’m pretty confident we will see our first “official” 90-degree day on Wednesday. If we get a little more east wind, or the clouds break up sooner, we’ll be hotter. If the cloud blanket is thicker than the models indicate, we’ll be cooler. Stay tuned.

Thursday the thermal trough moves east, but Kirkland will still hit 80 to 83 degrees with a near copy of Tuesday. Friday the winds shift to the west, northwest again and the marine air pushes back in. That gives us our very slight chance for some morning drizzle on Friday, but nothing that will move the needle on our growing rainfall deficit.

Please remember for the heat:

  • You can still get sunburned on a cloudy day. Wear your damn sunscreen because Seattle is practically the skin cancer capital of the United States.
  • Don’t leave your pets in your car. No having the window open isn’t enough. No, I just went in for five minutes doesn’t cut it. On a 90 degree day, the inside of your car can soar to 130 or 140 degrees in minutes. That is death, a horrible, awful death.
  • I shouldn’t have to say don’t leave your kids in the car — I really shouldn’t have to.
  • I shouldn’t have to say don’t throw your cigarette butts out the window when you drive because they can start a fire when the air is dry and warm, but it needs repeating.
  • Area lakes and rivers are still dangerously cold. Please have a talk with your teens if they have swimming, river floats, or boating plans. Jumping into water under 50 degrees can cause a gasp reflex you can’t control, inhale a big mouthful of water, and that’s it. It happens every year, and it has already happened in 2019. These are senseless, preventable deaths.

Stay cool eastside!

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