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Northwest’s Record Hot Summer Continues Into Labor Day Weekend

Tim Durkan
Tim Durkan Photography
A Seattle sunset, July 3, 2017

It’s been a hot summer in the Pacific Northwest, and this Labor Day weekend won’t change that trend at all.

“It's going to be warm and dry,” says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

He says the brief rain spell that caused some power outages Thursday north of Seattle is over. A ridge of high pressure will build over the region continuously through the weekend. Temperatures will zoom back up over the next few days.

“So Saturday first will be in the low 80s and we'll get into the mid-80s certainly by Sunday.  Upper 80s on Monday and probably around 90, maybe even low 90s on Tuesday,” said Mass.

He expects it to cool down a bit as the pressure drops around mid-week.

"Right now it looks like on Wednesday and Thursday, a trough will move offshore that will allow us to cool down," he said. 

But that won’t change the record warmth and heat this summer has already delivered.

“We just exceeded the record days above 70 degrees during summer - we're now at 63 days and the record was 61,” Mass said.  

That's in addition to the record-low precipitation measured at Sea-Tac Airport for July and August, which came in at .02 inches, a tie with the amount measured in 1914.  

So, if you’ve felt like this summer has been exceptionally warm and dry, you’re right.

To hear the full conversation, including a discussion of Hurricane Harvey and global warming and Cliff's analysis that the two are not related, you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post. 

Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:02 a.m. Friday, right after BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, via iTunesor Google Play.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to