Seattle Tops List for Summer Chilling



Posted on August 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

While stifling heat across most of the United States has caused water-use alerts, electrical grid brownouts and scorching misery, everything’s still pretty chill in Seattle.

According to a new study from Sperling’s Best Places, the Emerald City earned top honors among 50 metro areas when comparing day and nighttime temperatures as well as dew point and humidity levels during July and August, the warmest months of the year.

The greater Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue metro area earned its top marks based on average daytime temperatures of 74.9 degrees, with nighttime average at a chilly 52.9. The dew point average is 50.8 during the summer months and the humidity level at a very agreeable 43 percent.

According to Sperling’s new Heat Index, created to identify the places with the desirable combination of weather factors, Seattle beat out No. 2 Portland, Ore., No. 3 San Francisco, No. 4 Denver and No. 5 San Jose, Calif., to solidify its rank as the coolest place to be – in the summer, at least.

So how “chill” is summer in Seattle?

“At the time (of this analysis complete on July 18) Seattle has had only one day in excess of 90 degrees so far this year, and is forecast to end the month of July without any measureable rainfall for the month,’’ Sperling stated.

Sperling added that summers in the Pacific Northwest are probably the most pleasant in the United States and the rain stays away, sometimes for a month or more at a stretch.

While Seattle’s chill weather is courtesy of its unique marine climate, the West in general is almost immune to the stifling humidity of the Midwest and Eastern United States. It’s a rare day in any of the West’s coastal or mountain states when the humidity is enough to be noticeable, let alone uncomfortable, Sperling stated.

The top 10 rated “Chill” metro areas included No. 6 Buffalo, N.Y.; No. 7 Salt Lake City; No. 8 Milwaukee; No. 9 Detroit and No. 10 Pittsburgh.

In examining the Heat Index for 361 U.S. metro areas, Seattle was No. 8 behind No. Anchorage, Ark.; No. 2 Fairbanks, Ark.; No. 3 Bend, Ore.; No. 4 Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Wash.; No. 5 Salinas, Calif.; No. 6 Boulder, Colo.; and No. 7 Colorado Springs, Colo. Olympia, Wash., was No. 9; Missoula, Mont., was No. 10.

Washington State proved its general chill atmosphere; Bellingham came in at No. 11 overall among all 361 U.S. cities examined by Sperling.