Heat breaks record set in 1956
When the weather's good, it's good — but we're never quite sure it's going to last. That's why Chanel Wiley almost didn't take her...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Record broken; rivers closedAt 3:20 p.m. today, temperatures had reached 90 degrees, breaking the record high of 85 set in 1956. The temperature was measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The Cedar and Green rivers were closed today to all boaters, swimmers and fishermen by King County Sheriffs because the rivers are too high and the currents too strong, according to the King County Flood Warning Center.
When the weather's good, it's good — but we're never quite sure it's going to last.
That's why Chanel Wiley almost didn't take her family to Pritchard Island Beach, north of Rainier Beach, Friday afternoon.
"It's like, should we actually go to the beach, or is it just going to start raining in a couple of hours? It's Seattle," said Wiley. But when her daughters got home from school, she decided to risk it. She packed beach blankets, snacks and a couple of lawn chairs, and loaded her three youngest daughters into the car.
"It's the most beautiful day of the year so far," said Wiley, watching her 2-year-old, Saniya, flop around in the shallow water in a bright-pink tank top and matching shorts. "I'm glad we came!"
Today, the Cedar and Green rivers were closed to all boaters, swimmers, divers and fishermen by the King County Sheriff's Office because the rivers are too high and the currents too strong.
"The rivers are too high, too fast and too cold," said sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart.
He said rescue efforts were under way this afternoon for people stranded on the Green River, some in log jams. Two King County helicopters were being used, along with fire boats.
In addition, said Urquhart, a kayaker is overdue on the Green River.
At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today, the temperature climbed to 90 degrees at 3:20 p.m., breaking the previous record of 85 set in 1956.
At Sea-Tac on Friday, temperatures hit 84 degrees, tying the 1985 record for hottest temperature on record for May 16. Two coastal towns, Quillayute and Hoquiam, hit record highs, too, with temperatures in the low 90s.
"On a day like this, you can't even imagine rain," Wiley said, and then she laughed. "But you know it's coming. Oh, it's coming."
At Seward Park, a few miles up the road from Pritchard Island Beach, three members of the Bush School cycling club had similar sentiments.
"It's one of our 10 days of nice weather every year," said Alex Meyer, 16, a junior, his cheeks flushed with heat. "It's beautiful, yeah. But come Monday? Look at it this way: I'll enjoy it now, and I won't expect it to last."
Wiley and Meyer might be on to something: According to the National Weather Service, the blue skies and unseasonably high temperatures that have graced Puget Sound since Thursday aren't going to last into next week.
But "by Monday night or Tuesday morning, we've got a new system moving in. It'll be cool and unsettled" — that means rainy — until next weekend, said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Dennis D'Amico.
There have been unusually low temperatures this spring, he added. There were fewer spring showers than expected, but temperatures were cooler than normal in March, April and May.
It's been the fourth-coolest spring on record in Olympia and Bellingham, and the 11th-coolest spring in SeaTac since World War II ended in 1945, according to NWS records.
At Seward Park, ice-cream vendor Alex Young marks the good weather by how many cones he sells in a day. On Thursday, he sold almost 300 — that means it was really nice out, he said. He didn't have a count yet for Friday.
As for next week, Young isn't taking any chances. "It's Seattle, you know?" he said. "I always keep espresso and hot chocolate to sell, just in case."
Haley Edwards: 206-464-2745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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