Buehner: Seattle’s first 80-degree days are fast approaching

May 8, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:14 pm

80-degree days...

A general view as the sun sets during the sixth inning between the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks at T-Mobile Park on April 26, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo: Steph Chambers, Getty Images)

(Photo: Steph Chambers, Getty Images)

While last weekend was cool and soggy at times, most of Western Washington’s weather is going to have a big turnaround just in time for Mother’s Day weekend.

After another Pacific frontal system moved through Western Washington on Sunday night — bringing scattered showers and cool temperatures alongside the occasional sun break — highs never reached above 60 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

More weather updates: May weather to bring sunshine, boating season

By Wednesday though, higher pressure is forecast to begin building over the Pacific Northwest for clearing skies and a warm-up that will extend into the coming weekend. Highs mid-week are expected to nudge into the 60s, warming up to approximately 73 degrees on Thursday. By Friday and Saturday, some of the usual warmer spots in the region are likely to climb into the lower 80s.

The last time Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) warmed into the 80s was back on Sept. 15 last year. Olympia cracked the 80-degree mark last on Oct. 7. The first 80-degree day of the year usually occurs around mid-May. So this warm up will likely be about a week or so earlier than usual.

The sunshine and warmer temperatures starting midway this week and into this weekend will offer many opportunities to do things outdoors, particularly in the evenings. Tuesday marks the first sunset at 8:30 p.m. in Seattle.

Water remains dangerously cold

With Seattle’s first bit of “summer” weather arriving later this week, water holes around the Puget Sound will be filled with people wanting to jump in. But beware, the water is still dangerously cold.

“My biggest concern is that people see and feel the warm weather and they’re going to jump right into their paddleboard or their 15-foot boat, whatever that vessel is, and they’re not going to think about wearing their life jacket,” Rob Sendak, Boating & Winter Recreation Programs Manager at Washington State Parks, told KIRO Newsradio. “Wear that life jacket, regardless of what size or type of vessel that you’re on. When you’re around water, you never know when you’re going to need it so put that thing on.”

Last year, there were 23 recreational boating fatalities. Fifteen of the 23 deaths came from human-powered water devices — watercraft, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards.

“And guess what? Not surprisingly, 14 out of the 15 victims were not wearing life jackets,” Sendak said.

The water can easily be 30 degrees cooler than the temperature outside at any given moment, and Sendak stated you only need a half cup of water in your lungs to drown.

“Cold water shock is a real thing and you do not have very much time before organs in your body start to shut down,” Sendak said.

Upcoming baseball weather

On Wednesday evening, the Seattle Reign takes on Kansas City at Lumen Field with nearly cloudless skies and temperatures in the 50s during the match. The Seattle Mariners return home from their current road trip to meet the visiting American League West rivals, the Oakland A’s, on Friday. Yes, the same A’s that have won eight of its last 10 games. The stadium roof should be open for all three games through Mother’s Day weekend with sunshine at first pitch and warm temperatures.

More from Ted Buehner: Southern California has received more rain than Western Washington

Remember the sunshine and mild temperatures for Easter weekend at the end of March? Mother’s Day weekend is anticipated to also offer sunshine and the warmest temperatures of the year thus far. Sure hope moms will enjoy it!

Ted Buehner is the KIRO Newsradio meteorologist. You can read more of Ted’s stories here and follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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