Coastal Flood Advisory

Seattle records warmest March high temperature in 125 years as unusual warm spell envelopes the Pacific Northwest

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
March 20, 2019, 7:02:29 AM EDT

Seattle is experiencing a string of rare weather following one of the snowiest Februarys on record that has led to record-breaking warmth in the Emerald City. Seattle experienced its warmest winter day on record on Tuesday when temperatures topped out at 79 degrees Fahrenheit at 3 p.m. local time, a mark that beat the previous record of 76 F, which was set on Monday. Typically, mid-March temperatures in Seattle are 54 F. Spring begins on Wednesday.

The 79-degree reading also made for the warmest March day on record, according to the National Weather Service, edging out the previous record for the month, 78 F, set on March 29, 2004. Tuesday was the hottest March day in the city's history dating back to 1894, when officials began keeping records.

An area of high pressure has parked itself over the Interior Northwest and Pacific Canada, allowing temperatures to soar to unusually high levels. Seattle could set a daily record high temperature for the third day in a row on Wednesday before cooler air returns, with temperatures forecast to once again reach the mid-70s.

record highs washington state 31919

Seattle is just one of many cities across the city experiencing a stretch of record-challenging warmth.

The temperature could reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Vancouver this week, which has not occurred since Oct. 26, 2018.

Combined with sunshine and only a light breeze, it will feel a few degrees warmer than it actually is.

NW warm 3/18

Bars and restaurants will benefit from offering outdoor seating options through midweek as residents go out of their way to enjoy the pleasant weather.

Those hoping to take advantage of the warmth by heading out to hike, bike or otherwise enjoy the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest should take care around bodies of water. Increased snowmelt means rivers will be running high and fast, with water temperatures still dangerously low.

Some river flooding and ice jam concerns may arise for this reason, as well.

The sun angle is the same now as it is in September, so anyone heading outside should be sure to take along the sunscreen.

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The mornings will feel especially mild with low temperatures near 50 F, a trend that will continue through the end of the week even as cooler daytime weather returns.

A storm system moving into California will disrupt the mild breeze in the Pacific Northwest, preventing temperatures from rising past the mid-60s F beginning on Thursday. Associated rainfall is expected to arrive this weekend as high temperatures fall into the 50s F.

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