July comes early to Whatcom County, with temperatures expected to break 70 degrees on Wednesday, April 30, and Thursday, May 1, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Thursday will be the warmest day this week, with the high predicted to be 73 degrees in Bellingham and 79 in Lynden, where the ocean's moderating influence is weaker.
High pressure aloft - the pattern associated with fair weather - and warming winds from the east will combine to create what might be record warmth for this time of year. The 73 degrees expected in Bellingham Thursday is 1 degree shy of the record for May 1. The high is predicted to be 71 degrees on Wednesday. The record high for April 30 is 76.
This "miniature heat wave," as Weather Service meteorologist Danny Mercer called it, won't last. By Friday, a marine breeze will move in, dropping temperatures into the 60s in Bellingham and the low 70s in Lynden. Temperatures in both cities will be close to 60 on Saturday, when there is a chance of rain - just in time for the weekend.
"It's not going to be a washout" this weekend, Mercer said, by way of consolation. Much like the past weekend, cumulus clouds will try to crowd out the blue sky, and the rain will fall off and on.
A lot of county residents probably will be at work during the nicest days, but the warm spell still is a pleasant way to usher out what has been a wet April. The Bellingham International Airport had reported 3.42 inches of rain as of Sunday, April 27, which was 40 percent above normal.
So far, April also has been about 2 degrees warmer than normal - but not as warm as what the last two days should bring. The last time Bellingham had temperatures exceed 70 degrees was on Oct. 6, 2013.
The record high for April 30 was corrected on May 1, 2014.