New heat records on books

West End airport notches 109

Temperatures soared to 110 degrees on the West End and along the Hood Canal on Monday with upper 90s reported elsewhere on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The National Weather Service said the worst of the historic heat wave is over.

“It will be a significant cool down (today),” said Matthew Cullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“We’ll still be above normal for our temperatures, but it does look like we’ll have a decent push of marine air that comes through.

“It’s not a super-strong push, but enough to knock down some of the heat and then, as we get into (today), we’ll likely see temperatures only about 80 to 83, coolest closest to the water.”

Quillayute Airport near Forks smashed an all-time temperature record Monday with a 109-degree reading at 2:53 p.m. Monday, according to automated National Weather Service observations.

The previous record for that 55-year-old weather station was 99 degrees set on Aug. 9, 1981.

Elsewhere, temperatures had climbed by 4 p.m. Monday to 111 in Quilcene, 110 in Brinnon and 108 in Forks.

“Generally speaking, we expected today to be the hottest day across most of the area, and that is indeed what’s unfolding,” Cullen said at about 3 p.m. Monday.

Port Angeles also set an all-time temperature record Monday with a 97-degree reading at William R. Fairchild International Airport at 3:53 p.m. It was one degree hotter than Sunday’s all-time record of 96.

Previously, Port Angeles’ hottest days were 94 degrees on Aug. 18, 2016, and July 28, 2009.

Port Townsend tied Sunday’s record of 97 degrees at Jefferson County International Airport. The previous record for Port Townsend was 96 degrees on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, 1960.

Jefferson County commissioners voted Monday to close the historic courthouse in Port Townsend until Wednesday due to a lack of air conditioning and concern for staff.

The air-conditioned Olympic Theatre Arts Center in Sequim was open Monday to provide a place for people to cool off.

The Port Angeles Senior Center and North Olympic Library System also opened over the weekend as cooling stations.

Overnight lows were expected to fall into the 60s Monday night and “perhaps even the upper 50s” tonight, Cullen said.

“We’re definitely on the cooling trend, still above normal for our highs, but much more manageable, certainly, especially at night,” Cullen said.

The Quillayute Airport weather station was briefly out of service over the weekend, but technicians were on site Monday, Cullen said.

“We are confident that that is reporting properly, and indeed … that (109 degrees) is the all-time record for that station since records began,” Cullen said.

The temperature at the West End airport plummeted from 109 degrees at 2:53 p.m. to 81 degrees at 3:53 p.m. Monday as marine air began to move onshore.

“Some areas out toward the southwestern and central portions of the Washington coast are already cooling off with the push of marine air coming in,” Cullen said.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at

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