Washington to get a taste of Western U.S. heatwave


You’ve heard the rumors, you’ve seen the forecasts, and now it’s time to separate fact from fiction.

First thing’s first. We’re probably not going to break any records here, and conditions are looking a little less favorable for a historic heatwave. Nevertheless, a gigantic ridge of high pressure is slowly bubbling up and expanding from the Desert Southwest. You can see it graphically in the image below, which displays the current pattern:

6-27 GFS heat

This monster heat will primarily terrorize folks in the Southwest, but there are clear signs the Pacific Northwest will get a healthy dosage of very warm weather this weekend into next week. Predicting how long the heat will stay is always a tricky forecast, but one thing is for certain: It’s about to get a tad uncomfortable around here, at least for those with true Seattle blood.

Let’s break down the timing. Obviously Thursday has featured more in the way of showers than expected, and such high humidity that it feels like we’ve somehow been transplanted into Kansas City. As that colossal ridge grows in strength, we’ll notice our trusty marine influence will run out of steam. The good news is, this spells a mostly sunny day for your Friday with high temperatures spiking into the 80s. The bad(ish) news? Well, summer lovers are about to have their dreams fulfilled, if not exceeded.

Mostly sunny skies will be the theme Saturday through midweek next week, but it now looks like we could face a few random thundershowers Saturday and Wednesday. Either way, temperatures will likely rise several degrees each day. Right now, here’s my current thinking for highs Friday through Wednesday of next week (the numbers are subject to change a few degrees either way over the next couple days!):

  • FRIDAY: 78º, Partly to mostly sunny
  • SATURDAY: 85º, Mostly sunny (slim chance for a thundershower)
  • SUNDAY: 83º, Sunny
  • MONDAY: 88º, Sunny
  • TUESDAY: 91º, Sunny
  • WEDSNESDAY: 84º, Mostly sunny (chance for a thundershower)

This is a fairly impressive streak of warm weather for our neck of the woods, especially if we manage to make it into the 90s Monday and Tuesday (By the way, it looks like we’ll cool down enough for Independence Day, with highs likely dropping back into the 70s. But then there’s talk of thundershower activity, so needless to say we’ll talk more about those details when we get closer).

You might have also heard about the slim possibility of hitting 100º or above during this heatwave, as one forecast model actually advertised such a thing. At this point, I wouldn’t poke my neck out any farther than the low 90s, but again, with each passing day the numbers can and most likely will change.

Another thing to note: Nighttime temperatures will be very mild, often never getting out of the 60s. Be sure to invest in some good fans, because they will come in handy throughout all the air condition-less homes in Western Washington!

Lastly, please be careful out on the water! Rivers and lakes are still rather cold this time of year, and many summertime water accidents occur during the first big heat of the season.

Stay tuned to the Forecasting Kitsap blog for frequent updates over the next week or so as this heat unfolds. Have a wonderful day!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail Matt Leach at: forecastingkitsap@live.com