SEATTLE — The weather that Western Washington residents dream about through the damp gray days of winter is finally here.
The forecast promises a dry, sunny weekend with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Then, Northwesterners could have a couple of days where they can join the rest of the West in complaining about the heat.
Record temperatures in the 90s are possible in places Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Seattle said.
The record for July 1 at Sea-Tac Airport is 87 degrees, set most recently in 1995. And the record for July 2 is 92, set in 1968. The temperatures for both days “have a shot” of setting new records, said meteorologist Chris Burke.
A 90-degree day in Seattle is rare, but not unheard of.
“We don’t get to 90 degrees every year, but most years we do,” he said Friday.
Temperatures east of the Cascades will be even hotter, as they usually are, with weekend highs in the 80s and 90s, possibly breaking 100 on Monday and Tuesday.
In Spokane, temperatures in the 90s are expected Saturday and Sunday during the Hoopfest 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The event is expected to draw 28,000 players and up to 200,000 people downtown. They are being warned to drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat-related problems.
The cause of the heat wave is a “very impressive big giant high” pressure system, Burke said.
“It’s pretty normal for the rest of the West. Only once or twice a year does it reach Western Washington,” he said.
Marine air is expected to push into Washington again on Wednesday, dropping temperatures to the 80s and 70s by the Fourth of July.
The downside of great weather is the risks some people take to enjoy it at rivers, lakes and beaches in Washington. Cold water is a shock.
“Most hot weather deaths are from drowning because rivers are fed by melting snow,” Burke said. “You go in and get into trouble right away.”
Authorities also are advising people to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses and not to leave children or pets in cars.
Be careful and enjoy the summer weather.
“It’s going to be pretty nice, basically,” Burke said.