WeatherWatcher: Short heatwave in the forecast

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunny Weather
N 185th St looking east from Aurora Ave N
Photo by Carl Dinse

When it comes to temperature forecasts for our area one of the biggest questions I am always asked:

Why does it always seem to be a few degrees cooler in Shoreline or north Seattle than the forecasted high temperature?

Forecast models are run for specific areas, typically based on major airports since that is where weather data has been recorded for several decades. In our case the forecast for Seattle is based on what is expected at Sea-Tac airport. The next closest forecast spot is Paine Field in Everett. 

You have to come up with a magic blend between the two areas to come up with an expected high temperature for the Shoreline area. In addition there are high resolution forecast models that can narrow things down to several square kilometers, but they only go 1-3 days out. Of course the farther out you try to forecast, the greater the uncertainties get.

For a 5 day forecast, I go through forecasts for Everett and Seattle. In addition to those two forecasts I look at the general weather pattern that is set up over Western Washington, use my experience with how those patterns have interacted with the region in the past, and blend it all together to come up with what I expect to see for weather in the Shoreline area.


Monday is expected to be the hottest day this week. We are looking at mid 80's, with a slight chance of a high in the upper 80's but I don't think we'll break the 90°F mark. There is a heat advisory in effect on Monday for Seattle south, through Tacoma, Olympia and Chehalis. This heat advisory is not in effect for the Shoreline area.

Tuesday - Thursday we start to slowly cool back down. Highs in the upper 70's to low 80's on Tuesday, Wednesday highs a little warmer, to around 82°F or so. Thursday comes down into the upper 70's with increasing clouds in the evening.

Friday through Sunday we go back to the partly cloudy skies at times, with morning drizzle or showers. Temperatures will be back down into the low 70's for a high and upper 50's for lows.

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