What’s seemed like a cool summer so far is about to change, as fair skies and warmer temperatures lie ahead for Western Washington, at least for the next several weeks.
If you think this summer’s been cloudier and cooler than normal, you’re partly right, say forecasters at the National Weather Service in Seattle.
“So far, the temperatures have been pretty close to normal,” said meteorologist Jay Albrecht. “The high temperatures have been cooler. But the last several summers – about the last four – have been hot, so it’s quite possible that people are thinking it’s been cooler this year.”
The forecast for the next couple of weeks leans toward it being warmer than normal and drier.
Jay Albrecht, National Weather Service
Average high and low temperatures in July 2016 were 73 degrees and 56 degrees, Albrecht said, compared with historical averages of 71/54. He said July nights were warmer because clouds often blanketed the area, trapping daytime heat.
“This cool weather today (Wednesday, Aug. 10) is the last of it. It looks like it’ll get pretty warm,” Albrecht said. Thursday should see sunny skies and high temperatures of 75 in Bellingham near the bay, with temperatures hitting 80 degrees a few miles inland. By Friday and Saturday, Albrecht said, temperatures could soar higher, especially inland, possibly peaking near 90 in the Lynden-Sumas region.
“The forecast for the next couple of weeks leans toward it being warmer than normal and drier,” Albrecht said. Typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean could affect that prediction, so there’s some uncertainty.
71 is the average high temperature in July.
“La Niña is the cool counterpart to El Niño, characterized by unusually low ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific,” AccuWeather explains. “La Niña puts emphasis on the northern jet stream while weakening the southern jet stream, keeping moisture in the northern tier of the country.”
AccuWeather forecasters think a weak La Niña will develop during late fall and extend into the winter. An area of warmer-than-normal water off the Northwest coast, nicknamed the “warm blob,” is inhibiting a strong La Niña from forming, AccuWeather says. A strong La Niña can mean a cooler and wetter winter for the Northwest.