Cooldown on the way to Puget Sound region as smoke fades

Aug 9, 2021, 7:56 AM | Updated: Aug 15, 2021, 7:08 am
Seattle dry streak...
The sunset near the National Weather Service's Seattle headquarters. (NWS Seattle, Twitter)
(NWS Seattle, Twitter)

A cooldown is in on the way for the Puget Sound region, as smoke from wildfires fades on Sunday.

Seattle scores clear skies for Perseid Meteor Shower this week

The impact of smoke is measured by something known as the Air Quality Index (AQI), broken down into six categories: good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous.

The AQI for the Puget Sound region on Saturday ranged between “good” and “moderate,” with areas further east toward the Cascades affected most. On Sunday, most parts of the Seattle area moved into the “good” range.

“Still expecting gradual improvement in both heat and smoke,” the National Weather Service predicted. “Heat wise, some areas should experience some relief.”

After two straight days of temperatures in the 90s, Saturday saw the beginning of temperatures further down in the 80s. That will continue on Sunday with highs around 84 degrees, followed by 74 degrees on both Monday and Tuesday, with a chance of rain on both days. By Wednesday, temperatures will again settle back into the low 80s.

Last Thursday, Bellingham set an all-time record for heat at 100 degrees. According to the NWS, the previous hottest temp was 99 degrees, set on June 28, 2021. Records didn’t begin in Bellingham until 1949.

Two other locations set new daily records — Olympia tied its daily record of 96 degrees set in 1977, and Hoquiam has a new record of 88 degrees last set in 2016/2002/1977.

Seattle-area dry streak ends at 51 days

While KIRO 7 meteorologist Morgan Palmer says “there’s no way to know” whether this will be the region’s final major heat wave of the summer, University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass also points out that “we will be running out of time” for another one to roll in thanks to “the weakening sun and cooler temperatures expected next week.”

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Cooldown on the way to Puget Sound region as smoke fades