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Hot weather records: The history of Seattle's heat waves

Here’s a look back at some of Seattle’s most sweltering moments.

Seattle could experience record-breaking heat this week, but it probably won’t come close to some of the Emerald City’s all-time high temperatures.

The hottest Seattle’s ever gotten was 103 degrees on July 29, 2009. Seattle also hit 100 degrees on July 20, 1992, and had reached 99 degrees three times in 1991, 1981, and 1960.

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It isn’t a coincidence that two of Seattle’s hottest days were in July – that’s statistically the hottest month of the year, reaching a daily high of 75.6 degrees on average. August is typically just a hair cooler; highs typically get to 75.3 degrees.

As for heat waves, Seattle has experienced two where high temperatures stayed in the 90’s for five straight days: July 2015 and August 1981. There have also been eight times were temps were similarly sweltering for four consecutive days, half of which were in the last 13 years.

Unsurprisingly, in 2015, Seattle also saw the most days above 90 degrees, recording 12. We came close in 2018 with 11 days above 90 degrees.

Most of the heat comes in summer, but it has gotten pretty unseasonably toasty before. The earliest in the year that Seattle broke 80 degrees was April 1, 1987 when temps soared to 82 degrees. The latest in the year Seattle hit 80 degrees was October 1, 1987.