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Originally published June 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 7, 2008 at 9:38 AM


"June gloom" - all through July?

Maybe there's a reason they call it "June gloom. " Brace yourself for lower-than-normal temperatures, rain and cloudy days this month, the...

Seattle Times staff reporters


Average temperature for the first week of June for the past 60 years


Average temperature for

the first week of June 2008

Maybe there's a reason they call it "June gloom."

Brace yourself for lower-than-normal temperatures, rain and cloudy days this month, the National Weather Service says.

And don't expect a warm July, either.

"The three-month outlook for Western Washington shows below-normal temperatures mid-May through July," said Jeff Michalski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The prediction that temperatures will be "below normal" means they could be only 1 or 2 degrees below average — or as much as 10 or 15 degrees below average, as they've been for the past few days.

On the brighter side, it's supposed to rain a little less than normal this summer, Michalski said.

The high Friday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was 53 degrees, one degree warmer than the date's record for the lowest high temperature, set in 1950.

"June gloom" myth busted

This weekend, look for cloudy days with showers today and Sunday, and temperatures in the mid-50s to lower 60s. Another cool-weather system will be moving in early next week, so don't plan a picnic before next weekend.

Some longtime Puget Sound residents shrug off the recent cold snap, saying June is often cooler than May — hence the "June gloom" indictment. But Michalski says that's just not true. The average temperature for May is cooler than it is for June, and June is cooler than July.

"People are forgetful," he said. "They remember how nice it was and expect it to keep being nice. "

But this month, at least, temperatures have been cooler than average.

In the first few days of the month, average high temperatures in Seattle have been almost 6 degrees below the normal highs in the upper 60s, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Daily temperatures have averaged less than 53 degrees, which is a far cry from the normal average of 61 in June.

Snow in the passes

The weather is so weird, forecasters were even expecting up to 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations of the Olympics and North Cascades Friday night. Up to 3 inches of snow was forecast for mountain passes above 3,500 feet, like Stevens Pass, Burg said. That also included Chinook, Washington Pass and roads to Paradise and Hurricane Ridge. The snowfall was supposed to taper off over the weekend.

"The weather's mirroring the Mariners' play: pretty lousy," Burg said.

Since baseball season began in April, the roof at Safeco Field has been closed 13 out of 32 home games, said Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale. That compares to 23 closures for all of 2007 and just 10 in 2006.

"We're only through a third of the season," Hale said. "It's not looking good."

For those of you who believe in karmic weather patterns, perhaps we're just atoning for all those sunny, warm days last month.

In May, the average temperature was 56 degrees — a few tenths of a degree warmer than normal. And that's including that scorcher on May 17, when some thermometers popped to 90 degrees and shattered the 85-degree record set in 1956. It also rained less than an inch in May, which is about half of that month's normal rainfall.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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