Western Washington basks in first 'heat' stretch of 2014

SEATTLE -- I admit low 80s is a bit of stretch to call it "heat" for the headline as in a few months, this will seem a bit old hat, but 80s in late April? I think this qualifies.

Temperatures are soaring well into the 70s Wednesday afternoon with many cities having a date with 80s lined up for this evening, part of a thermal trough that is baking the entire West Coast.

For Seattle, temperatures should near, or perhaps even match the record high of 85 degrees for this date. It'll be the first time Seattle has been 80 in April in a decade and only the 8th time it's been 80 or warmer since Sea-Tac's records were established in 1945.

It was even warmer to the south, where the Oregon Coast in the upper 70s and low 80s even before lunchtime! North Bend, Ore. was nearing its all-time hottest April day on record at 85 degrees. The Bay Area was expected to reach the mid-upper 80s while parts of Southern California were expected to warm well into the 90s.

But if you like today's sunshine and warmth, we've got another day of sunshine and warmth for you on Thursday -- in fact, it might even be a little warmer! Some of that heat from points south will trek farther north, heating up the air mass a little more. Meanwhile, our warming and drying east winds are expected to continue through Thursday -- a perfect scenario for record heat as it's the only way we get that warm this early in the season. (If this pattern had been in the heart of summer, upper 90s would be likely in Seattle.) As it stands, mid 80s are likely on Thursday around the Puget Sound region.

The record high for May 1 is just a paltry 81 degrees, and believe it or not, it's only reached 80+ twice in May 1st in Sea-Tac's history -- and only 70+ eight times overall. (Probably because the Opening Day of Boating Season sometimes falls on May 1 and everyone knows the weather rarely cooperates for that event...)

For those that prefer 60s to 80s with their May festivities, changes are on the way. Our cooling marine breezes will return Thursday night which will drop temperatures back into the upper 60s for Friday, and then back closer to 60 over the weekend as a trough of low pressure brings back the old familiar showers.