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Northwestern US: Summer warmth starts May after April shatters records

May is picking up where April left off with record-challenging warmth surging back into the northwestern United States.

The start of May will feel more like summer in the Northwest as temperatures soar back into the 80s in the valleys, where highs generally in the 60s are more common for early May.

"A strong upper-level high pressure building into the West will bring a pretty significant change to the region with temperatures rising to near or even above record levels in many places," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

The warmth will peak on Monday along the I-5 corridor and on Tuesday east of the Cascade Mountains.

Seattle and Spokane, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, are among the cities that will see temperatures approach or break records early this week.

"During the peak of summer, the average high in Portland is 82 F," Duffey said, "but on Monday, the high is expected to be 85 F, giving residents a taste of summer."

Sunday and Monday will also mark the first time since 1945 that Portland started off May with two consecutive days of highs in the 80s, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Portland.

Seattle typically averages one 80-degree day in May, according to the NWS office in Seattle, and could experience that as soon as Monday.

The warmth from Sunday will also persist along the Washington coast on Monday, while cooling occurs at points southward.

Dry weather and sunshine will dominate the days when the warmth peaks, allowing residents to continue to enjoy outdoor plans. Those who are sensitive to the warmth, however, should avoid strenuous activities and drink plenty of water.

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Despite the air being warm, local lakes and rivers are still too cold and dangerous to jump into to cool off.

However, the early week warmth will not be new for residents Duffey said.

"Portland, for example, saw a daily record high broken five times last month, including an 87- and 89-degree day."

Those warm days helped make last month the warmest April on record for Portland with Seattle and Bellingham among the other cities that had the same feat.

Rain will return and temperatures will get sent back to more seasonable levels by midweek as a storm system moves into the West.

However, the battle between spring and summer will continue. As the storm settles over the Southwest, the Northwest will likely once again experience a surge of warmth around this coming Saturday before yet another cool shot arrives early in the following week.