Peninsula heat wave quickly cooling off

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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At least one North Olympic Peninsula city hit a high-temperature record Wednesday, but weather forecasters expect the mercury to drop in thermometers across the region starting this weekend.

“We’re looking at a more downward trend in temperatures now,” Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said Thursday.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 60-degree range today, Saturday and Sunday for the North Olympic Peninsula, Burg said, with clouds and some showers predicted starting Sunday and running through next week.

High temperatures Wednesday, however, flirted with 90 degrees and set a record for Sept. 11 in Port Angeles, with a high of 85 degrees measured at William R. Fairchild International Airport, Burg said.

The previous record for that date was 84 degrees set in 2011, he added.

Temperatures in Sequim and Port Townsend hovered around 85 and 86 degrees, Burg said, with an unofficial monitoring station in Quilcene reaching 91.

Burg said the rise in temperatures Wednesday had to do with a ridge of high pressure sitting over the Pacific Northwest, clearing out clouds and pulling in offshore flows of air from the west.

“So it warmed up,” Burg said.

On the West End, the Weather Service’s official monitoring station at Quillayute Airport hit 82 degrees Wednesday.

Though not a record for the airport, Burg said, an unofficial monitoring station in Forks hit 89 degrees, tying a record for Sept. 11 initially set in 1922.

“In a word, it was hot,” said Marcia Bingham, customer service director for the Forks Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center.

“I moved here from Southern California because it was too hot [there].”

Bingham said a couple of visitors mentioned the warm temperatures.

One man seemed especially upset, saying he was visiting Forks from Florida to escape the heat.

The only message he had to write about Forks in the guestbook was “Hot!!” Bingham said, complete with two exclamation marks.

Burg said temperatures in the 80s are not unusual for the Pacific Northwest this time of year, though reaching the 90s is a little more rare.

“It happens, but it’s not that common,” Burg said.

“Usually, we stop hitting 90s in August.”

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: September 12. 2013 6:07PM
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