Hot August finishes as 3rd-warmest month in Seattle history

Smoky skies hang over Seattle on Aug. 2 as wildfire smoke pours into the city from Canada.

Two years after rewriting the record books with its hottest month ever, Seattle nearly did it again.

A sweltering August left the city with an average overall temperature of 70.3 degrees—the third-warmest month on record in Seattle, surpassed only by July 2015 (71.2 degrees) and August 1967 (71.1 degrees). Records date back to 1894.

Like July 2015 before it, the month was marked more by persistent warmth than extreme heat—featuring 22 days with above-normal temperatures, but none at 95 degrees or higher. Even the coldest day of the month, Aug. 24, still made it to 72 degrees—just four under the daily norm.

Below, we answer some common questions on our scorcher of a month.

How many 90-degree days did August have?

Five. The record is six, set in 1977 and tied last year.

What was the hottest day of the month?

Aug. 3, with a high of 94 degrees.

Was that also the hottest day of the summer?

No. The hottest day of the summer remains June 25, when the mercury hit 96 degrees. Wildfire smoke from British Columbia on Aug. 3 likely prevented Seattle from topping this.

You mentioned average overall temperature. How did August 2017 fare in terms of just average high temperature?

By this measure, it was also the third-warmest month on record, with an average high of 81.5 degrees. Only August 1967 (average high of 83.7 degrees) and July 2015 (average high of 82.6 degrees) were hotter.

What about average low temperature?

August 2017 comes in fourth this time, with an average low—or nighttime temperature—of 59.0 degrees. Ahead of it? Both August 2013 and July 2015 (59.9 degrees) and July 1941 (59.1 degrees)

Will September bring any relief?

Not to start. Temperatures will hover around 90 degrees beginning Sunday, and continuing through next Wednesday or Thursday. Overall, though, the month is guaranteed to finish cooler than August—Seattle’s hottest September on record only had an average temperature of 65.7 degrees.

Last but not least—when will it rain again?

There’s no hint of rain for at least the first ten days of September—but rest assured, at some point this fall, we’ll be perpetually soggy and cool. That said, the combined precipitation total for the past two months of just 0.02 inches ties 1914 for the driest July-August on record. August 2017 itself ends in a three-way tie for fifth-driest August on record.


  1. I well remember August, 1967. I was helping my Dad build and paint our deck and will never forget that August 16th got close to 100 degrees.

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