Record heat scorched the North Olympic Peninsula on Sunday, and even hotter temperatures are possible today, the National Weather Service said.
Cooler marine air will begin to move onshore Tuesday, providing a respite from triple-digit or near-triple-digit temperatures observed in Clallam and Jefferson counties on Sunday.
“(Monday) for the most part will be a little bit warmer than today,” said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
“We are expecting a good, westerly push kicking in Monday night.”
“Temperatures as we get into Tuesday should range in the mid-70s to mid-80s, depending on where you are on the Peninsula,” he added.
“When you compare it to triple digits, 80 sounds good.”
Port Townsend reached a record 97 degrees at Jefferson County International Airport as of 4 p.m. Sunday, according to National Weather Service observations. The previous high of 96 degrees was set on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, 1960.
Port Angeles tied Saturday’s all-time high of 96 degrees at William R. Fairchild International Airport as of 4 p.m. Sunday. Prior to the weekend, Port Angeles’ hottest days were 94 degrees on Aug. 18, 2016, and July 28, 2009.
Quillayute Airport near Forks, which peaked at 99 degrees on Aug. 9, 1981, was offline for several hours Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Forks was a blistering 106 degrees as of 3:33 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
Elsewhere, Sunday temperatures had climbed to 97 in Sequim, 100 in Gardiner, 106 in Brinnon and 107 in Quilcene.
Hurricane Ridge was 85 degrees and La Push was just 69 degrees Sunday afternoon.
The North Olympic Peninsula is under an excessive heat warning though 9 p.m. today.
“For most interior locations, we’re probably looking for (Monday) being the hottest day,” Reedy said.
“The only place that’s really going to feel the difference is maybe right on the coast. They may cool off a degree or two as that onshore flow starts.”
Meanwhile, the Port Angeles Fire Department announced Sunday it would hold a “community cooldown” at 4 p.m. today at Erickson Playfield.
The fire department will set up a ladder truck and “wet down everyone wanting relief from the hot weather,” the announcement said. The event will only last a few minutes.
Reedy said a strong ridge of high pressure had built over Western Washington, contributing to the high temperatures.
“The term ‘heat dome’ has been pretty popular in the news media lately, and that’s pretty much what’s occurring here,” Reedy said.
“What’s unique about today and (Monday) is that heat has kind of built up enough (to) where it creates a low-level trough, meaning that a lot of air is going to be kind of moving into the area from the east.”
Warm air from the east side of the Cascades will heat up further as it moves down the western slopes of the Cascades and compresses, Reedy said.
“Those two (factors) are kind of tag-teaming for the high temperatures we’re expecting today and again (Monday),” he said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.