Its not smoky yet but this March heatwave sure feels like Summer.
It's not smoky yet but this March heatwave sure feels like a Seattle summer. AREKMALANG/GETTY IMAGES

The record high for Seattle on today’s date, March 19, is 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Or I mean the record was 63 degrees. We broke that record at 9 a.m. this morning and it's still getting hotter. Today could be the warmest March day ever recorded in Seattle.

The warmest March day ever recorded at Sea-Tac was 78 degrees on March 29, 2004, according to Joe Zagrodnik, a meteorologist with a PhD from the University of Washington. He told me there is a “slight chance” of breaking that record today. You can get updates on the rising mercury every five minutes at this weather website.

Yesterday’s high of 76 was also a record and this entire heatwave is without much of a precedent, according to Zagrodnik.

The meteorologist told me that today is only the 15th March day with recorded temperatures over 70 degrees, and there’s only one other year where March had more than one 70 degree day in the month. That year was 1994, when it went over 70 degrees on March 27, 28, and 29. Zagrodnik plotted every single 70+ day on a chart and sent this to me:

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Joe Zagrodnik

Zagrodnik said it’s unlikely that this will be the warmest March on record because we had a very cold beginning of the month (the average temperature at Sea-Tac ten days ago, March 9, was just 39 degrees Fahrenheit). Zagrodnik said this heatwave appears to have more to do with short-term weather patterns than long-term trends.

“I'll say that this flip from very cold weather to record warmth is quite unusual, although at this point I would write this event off as caused by an unusual weather pattern. It's a big ridge of high pressure reminiscent of summer, plus warm, dry, easterly downsloping winds from the Cascades, high surface pressure in Eastern Washington, and lower pressure offshore. Some of us in the local weather community have started calling these the 'Cascadia Winds,'" Zagrodnik said.

So to recap: it’s fucking weird and hot out there.