April 08, 2016

Thursday High Temperatures and Today's Situation

The high temperatures yesterday ranged from near 90F in favored areas (away from marine influence, at the bottom of west-facing slopes) to fifties near the water.   Here is a map of the highs on Thursday. Amazing contrasts.  Mid to upper 80s southwest of the Olympics and similar temperatures on the western slopes of the Cascades east of Seattle.  But 58F at the buoy positioned in the eastern side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 90F north of Portland.

In the Seattle area, there were 60s near the water but low 80s over northeast Seattle away from the water.  Mid 80s over the eastern suburbs.

What about today?  An interesting situation.

The temperatures aloft, say at 5000 ft, are nearly identical to those of yesterday.  But the offshore (easterly) flow is weaker.  The north-south pressure difference is also weaker, so the cooling northerly flow that moderated Seattle yesterday will decline today. The figure below shows the temperatures and winds above Sea Tac for the past 24h.  At 850 hPa (about 5000 ft) the temperature line (red) is almost horizontal.  No change.  But the strong low-level easterlies are gone.

So in this situation, one might expect that the eastern suburbs of Seattle will cool a bit (say to around 80F), while Seattle and the lower elevations will be similar or cool slightly.

Another summer-like day.  Enjoy.


  1. With such big temperature differentials, shouldn't it have been much windier?

  2. Cliff, have you posted about summer predictions? I may have missed it. Very curious if this summer will be as hot as last year or more temperate.

  3. Are we to believe those 90 degree temps west of Olympia?

  4. I recorded 77 yesterday and 75 today at south Vashon.

  5. We drove from Bellevue to Anacortes and then down Whidbey and then home today. It was really windy for a lot of the day, cutting my electric car's normal efficiency from ~4.2 mpkW to a disappointing 3.9. We had to charge the car sooner than we usually would.

    Still, it was a gorgeous day out and we enjoyed Deception Pass and the beaches on Whidbey. So did the eagles, hawks, and vultures! From about 2 pm until 7 pm today, we counted at least 9 different eagles (with five of them visible at once at Deception). I took the opportunity to teach my 7-year old about DDT and how eagles almost went extinct because of people... when I was his age, I didn't know anyone who had ever SEEN an eagle in person, and here we were, seeing them all day, more than one at a time!

  6. Marine fog all morning, then very windy 30mph and very cool at the Admiralty inlet,.on Friday afternoon.

  7. Is the recent "heat storm" really an extreme event?

    You can't look for "all-time" high temperatures without considering the time span recorded by the station. Monroe has been recording since 1929. Here are the 4 hottest April temperatures recorded at Monroe:

    1947: 85
    2004: 84
    1987: 84
    1984: 84
    1940: 84
    1999: 83
    1989: 83
    1934: 83
    1980: 82
    1977: 82
    1976: 82
    1951: 82

    Does anyone see a significant trend in "extremes?"

    6 hottest April temperatures at SeaTac since 1945:

    1976: 85
    1984: 83
    2014: 82
    1987: 82
    1947: 82
    1999: 81
    1989: 81
    2004: 80
    1998: 80
    1978: 79


    Cliff reported that Quillayute radiosonde recorded 62°F at 5000ft, the "warmest ever observed for ANY DATE between January 1 and April 24th." That should have been qualified with "since 1966."

  8. The ten hottest days at SETAC, Washington 1948 - 2013
    July 29, 2010 103 F
    July 20, 1994 100 F
    July 23, 1991 99 F
    Aug 9, 1981 99 F
    Aug 9, 1960 99 F
    July 11, 2007 98 F
    Sept 2, 1988 98 F
    Aug 10, 1981 98 F
    July 16, 1979 98 F
    Aug 16, 1967 98 F
    Aug 8, 1960 98 F

    Do you see a trend?
    Average monthly and annual temperatures are better indicators for temperature trends.

    When I was a kid, global CO2 was only 315ppm (35ppm above the pre-industrial age).

    Today, CO2 is 407ppm (127ppm above the pre-industrial age) and increasing at 3ppm per year. When I was a kid the positive forcing by 35ppm of CO2 was less than the negative forcing from industrial aerosols (A sulfate cloud hung over the SE USA and Europe, smog was killing people in California) so the global temperatures actually cooled slightly between 1950 and 1970. (like a 20 year moderate volcano)

    After 1970, the USEPA ordered industries to use baghouses and ESP to eliminate the billowing smoke from industry. We cleaned up auto emissions and roadway dirt. The skies cleared but CO2 inched up to over 330ppm.

    The positive forcing by CO2 is stronger today than any previous time in the Holocene (last 12,000 years). CO2 will probably top out around 550 to 600ppm by the end of this century. Our planet is now in the early stages of warming. In February the global temperature anomaly rose to a record 1.35C (2.4F). By the end of the century it is estimated to be 4C (7.2F). As CO2 continues to rise, the amount of positive forcing by CO2 rises.

    The trouble won't be that Seattle will become too hot. It will be pleasant. The trouble will be in Greenland and west Antarctica. Droughts will be worse. Rainstorms will be wetter. Hurricanes will be stronger. The oceans will rise.

    Our planet is as warm today as it was during the previous interglacial period (120,000 years ago, the Eemian interglacial). Geologists and Oceanographers observe coastal terraces formed during the Eemian when the oceans were 10 to 30 feet higher than today. Glaciologists have determined that the west Antarctica ice shelf has melted several times in the past including the Eemian. Hence, the current global temperature anomaly is likely sufficient to raise ocean levels by many feet. Because that is what happened in the past when the planet was a little warmer.

    If you want to say the prediction is wrong, well okay but what do you base it on? politics, wishful thinking, just can't believe it's true, religion (Some people believe Earth was formed on a Saturday in 4004BC).

    Global warming is the reality. A massive volcanic eruption (like Mt. Pinatubo in 91) would give the planet a year to two of cooling but aerosols quickly drop out of the atmosphere, CO2 does not.

    Industry has history of obfusticating the facts. The petroleum industry long argued that adding lead to gasoline was not harmful to humans. There is no safe amount of lead. Lead in children declined 70% when leaded gasoline was finally eliminated and violent crime declined. The tobacco industry long argued that smoking was safe. It isn't. Today, the fossil fuel industry and the politicians it supports say global warming is a hoax. It isn't. Do you see a trend?

  9. Dear Unknown,
    Good Question. But no. Wind is caused by the difference in pressure and temperature. The scale we are looking at is really small unlike the Polar versus the Tropics. The air temperature at 5,000 feet was fairly uniform, its only a shallow layer at the surface where we see the contrast.

  10. Mark,
    The six highest annual temperatures at Monroe:
    2009: 102
    1931: 101
    1998: 100
    1984: 100
    1960: 100
    1958: 99
    1994: 98
    1961: 98
    1942: 98
    1981: 97
    1979: 97
    1952: 97
    1941: 97

    The six highest annual temperatures at a station on Orca Island that has been recording since 1891:
    2009: 93
    1941: 92
    2007: 91
    1961: 91
    2015: 89
    2012: 89
    1990: 89
    1939: 89
    1927: 89
    2006: 88
    2004: 88
    1960: 88
    1959: 88
    1928: 88
    1925: 88
    1995: 87
    1984: 87
    1983: 87
    1951: 87
    1942: 87
    1940: 87
    1938: 87
    1935: 87
    1931: 87
    1926: 87
    1899: 87

    Less trendy than a location of concrete and asphalt sprawl.

    Reducing CO2 output is a worthy goal, but I don't see government's $22B/year propaganda budget and industrial-scale corporate welfare projects as being a practical means to achieve it, especially if ceding regulatory authority to an unaccountable global bureaucracy is part of the plan.

    (For JewelyaZ's and the eagles' sake, I hope Deception Pass isn't a prime location for a wind farm.)

  11. Per Mark's suggestion, I looked at annual average temperatures at Orca Island.

    A new record high average temperature of 53.7°F was set in 2015, beating the previous record of 52.7°F set in 1926.

    The record low average temperature of 46.7°F was set in 1955.


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