Reposted from The Cliff Mass Weather Blog
All-time temperature records have been broken, if not broken, across the region. Just to name a few:
- SeaTac hit 108F, beating the previous record of 103F.
- Olympia reached 109F, beating the previous record of 105F
- Quillayute, on the WA coast, zoomed in to 110F and broke the previous record of 99F. absolutely
- Portland reached 116 ° F, burning the previous record of 107 ° F.
- In east Washington, Dallesport set the all-time state record of 118F. on
- East of the I5, many locations in western Washington crossed 110F yesterday.
Some high temperatures above the state, click to expand
Believe it or not.
Seattle now has a higher record temperature than Miami, Atlanta, Washington DC, or Chicago. Portland’s record high exceeded that of Houston, Austin or San Diego.
Over 50 observation sites in western Washington rose to over 110 ° F
Do you want record temperatures? Come to the northwest!
But not only had we observed extreme heat … far more than in the last century … but also a record-breaking cool down when a thin layer of sea air streamed in last night.
- Portland cooled by 52F (116 to 64) and Salem by 56F (117 to 61) in a matter of hours.
- Seattle is cooled by an impressive 46F!
- Quillaute by 48F.
The visible satellite imagery this morning showed that ocean clouds not only covered the coast, but also advanced inland around the Olympic Games.
The cooling west of the Cascades will be a two-stage affair. The ingress of the cool sea air last night was fairly shallow. The figure below shows the temperature (red lines are the temperature in C, wind mullets in black) over the SeaTac Airport during the last day. No cooling above 5000 ft. But lots of cooling and a change to southerly current below 2500 ft.
What happens in this situation is that where the sun is on the surface, the air begins to mix, with the mix getting deeper and deeper over time. Finally we mix the warm air over it and the temperatures rise. You will notice that today – sometime after 10 a.m., temperatures will quickly rise to the upper 80s. We are sorry.
But the good news is that ocean air will re-enter tonight as the thermal trough moves decisively to east Washington … resulting in an additional temperature drop on Wednesday. The ensemble projections for Seattle show this clearly (see below). Good sleeping weather ahead!
Environmental impact of the heat wave
Air quality has suffered really badly with increasing levels of particles and ozone in the atmosphere, which was reflected in the increasing haze that you have surely seen. Here in Seattle, small particles rose to moderate levels (42 micrograms per cubic meter) before crashing last night. (Image below by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency)
Ozone is another problem and is actually not worst in cities, but downwind in overgrown areas like the foothills of the Cascades. Check out the ozone in Enumclaw, southeast of Seattle. Increased progressively over the past week before quickly falling again last night.
And there is the plant damage. Yesterday’s scorching heat fried many plants, including native species, with brown and discolored leaves. How many of you notice withered and damaged vegetation? The soil wasn’t dry … it was the sheer heat that damaged the plants.
We can significantly reduce the risk of forest fires
There is great concern about regional forest fires. My next blog is going to talk about how we can do that radically reduce the risk if our leaders acted vigorously. First, to immediately ban all private fireworks nationwide, with severe penalties. Second, use weather forecasts effectively to shut down power lines in rural areas where forest fires could break out. I would like to point out that predicted drought may be associated with a lower risk of lightning and lightning will cause many of our major fires.