NOAA committee verifies record for state’s hottest ever day from 2021 heatwave

Feb 10, 2022, 12:17 PM
heatwave, hottest day...
A display at an Olympia Federal Savings branch shows a temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit, Monday, June 28, 2021.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Last summer, Washington experienced a record-shattering heatwave that saw temperatures soar into the low 100s. Of all the records that were set, though, whether the state experienced its hottest day ever in recorded history remained uncertain … until now.

From 108 to 17 degrees: Puget Sound region wraps up wild year of record weather

Washington’s previous record for its highest ever temperature was set in July of 1928, and August of 1961, when it reached 118 degrees in Wahluke and Ice Harbor Dam, respectively. Initial readings from June of 2021 indicated that the state may have tied that mark when it reached 118 degrees at two National Weather Service stations — one at Sol Duc River near Forks, and the other at Mayfield Power Plant in Lewis County.

On Thursday, the State Climate Extremes Committee revealed that it had actually gotten even hotter than that, when readings hit 120 degrees in Hanford on June 29, 2021, officially setting a new all-time record for Washington.

Other areas in Washington that broke all-time records in that same month included:

  • Seattle (Sea-Tac): 108 degrees, previously 104 on June 27, 2021
  • Spokane: 109 degrees, previously 108 degrees on Aug. 4, 1964
  • Bellingham: 99 degrees, previously 96 on July 29, 2009
  • NWS Seattle: 107 degrees, previously 105 on July 29, 2009
  • Olympia: 110 degrees, previously 105 on June 27, 2021
  • Quillayute: 110, previously 99 on Aug. 9, 1981

The NWS says that the historic 2021 heatwave was driven by a trio of factors: a “persistent ridge of high pressure,” a statewide drought emergency, and “intense” solar radiation.

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NOAA committee verifies record for state’s hottest ever day from 2021 heatwave