Hotter Than When Elvis Left Us?

On Aug. 16, 1977, temperatures soared as hearts fell across Puget Sound.

That’s right, it was 94 degrees in Seattle the day Elvis died.

34 anniversaries of the King’s passing have come and gone, yet Seattle has never experienced a warmer Aug. 16 since. (The record high for the date, 98 degrees, was set back in 1967.) Now, as the 35th anniversary of Elvis’ death looms, so does a late week Seattle heatwave—one that could make Thursday even warmer than that fateful day in 1977.

Seattle is forecast to hit the mid 90s on Aug. 16 for the first time since 1977—the day Elvis died.

Until then, we’ll mainly see high temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s, with today’s projected high of 86 the warmest of the next few days. Temperatures will fall into the low 60s tonight, cooling a bit further Monday morning as some marine air filters into the region. Low clouds should stay west of the Seattle area tomorrow, but onshore winds from the Pacific will be enough to knock highs down to the 80-degree mark.

We’ll cool a notch further on Tuesday, as a stronger marine push sends clouds racing through the Chehalis Gap and up into the metro area. Plan on a cloudy morning, with sunshine breaking out once we hit the lunch hour. Highs will fall to the mid and upper 70s—average for this time of year.

The heat returns on Wednesday, as warm air is drawn into the region from the east. Highs will rise to the mid 80s as another thermal low—similar to the one that gave us the year’s hottest temperatures to date last weekend (93 degrees on both Aug. 4 and 5)—works its way up the coastline.

The thermal low will be perched off the Washington coast Thursday, helping to pull warmer air into Puget Sound from Eastern Washington. Combined with a ridge of high pressure overhead, temperatures will soar into the low to mid 90s around Seattle. This should give Thursday a decent chance of finally matching—if not surpassing—the steamy Aug. 16 temperatures last seen when Elvis died.

Lord almighty, I feel my temperature rising…


  1. I remember August 16th, 1967. It was so HOT! In fact, it was the hottest in a string of hot days that summer. I remember because I was helping my dad build a deck on our house and so spent a lot of time under the sun. I was about to enter my Junior year at Nathan Hale H.S…. and it was specifically on Aug 16th that I interviewed for and got a job at a local Drug Store chain. At least THEN I could escape the heat in all that air conditioning they had.

    • Great memory, Brian–August 1967 was the hottest month ever recorded at Sea-Tac, with an average high for the month of 83.7 degrees (and a mean temperature of 71.1 degrees)! Of all the months for you to have to work outdoors, building a deck…
      Sounds like you got that job just in time–thanks for sharing!

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