Forecast for the 4th unusually dry
Grab your shades and put on your shorts: The Fourth of July is fixing to deliver a weather triple hitter. Traditionally the wettest day...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Grab your shades and put on your shorts: The Fourth of July is fixing to deliver a weather triple hitter.
Traditionally the wettest day for all of July, according to National Weather Service records, this year's Fourth is predicted to be gloriously sunny.
If the temperature hits the predicted mid-80s, this Fourth will be only the 10th in the past 60 years to see the mercury climb above 80. The average for that day is 74 degrees.
Dry, warm and sunny is "a good forecast for folks," said Dennis D'Amico, a National Weather Service meteorologist who says the public lets forecasters know what it wants.
On holidays like the Fourth, "People will call in and say, 'Why can't you make it nice?' "
Consider it done.
The meteorological hero in this is a large ridge of high pressure over the desert Southwest that D'Amico says is pushing weather systems in the Gulf of Alaska well to our north.
"That's not going anywhere," he said, anticipating that it will just about guarantee toasty weather into the coming weekend.
Indeed, July 5 is predicted to be even slightly warmer than its red-white-and-blue calendar mate.
But with good news comes bad news: fire danger.
Jim Prange, the Weather Service's fire-weather program leader for Western Washington, said below-normal precipitation for the past several months means grasses and shrubs are drier than normal.
Now comes a dry Fourth and fireworks — a combustible combination.
"And you have a couple of nice days Thursday and Friday so you're looking at the possibility of more fireworks being set off," Prange noted. "What you're basically looking at is increased fire danger. This is a concern."
An average June
While July is definitely looking a lot like summer, June played out as a transitional weather month, D'Amico said.
"June was still kind of hanging onto spring, but you started to get signs of good things to come."
The biggest sign came early last month, June 3 to be exact, when the temperature hit 84 degrees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. That was the month's high.
The low occurred on June 12: a parka-worthy 46.
The wettest day was June 24 when 0.38 inches fell at the airport. In all, the month had 1.34 inches of rainfall and 13 days with no measurable precipitation at all.
June's normal rainfall is 1.49, but last month came in shy at 1.34 inches. The total so far this year is 17.51 inches, below the 18.92 inch norm.
The average high for the month, 69.3 degrees, and the average low, 51.3, mirrored 30-year averages.
Elizabeth Rhodes: email@example.com
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