Mass: Summer Weather Takes a Bow Over Long Weekend

Aug 30, 2013

Labor Day marks summer’s unofficial finale, and KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says the warm weather with make a curtain call this weekend, though the beach-and-barbecue weather will be a memory by Monday.

"Today is the transitional day,” says Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Expect fairly cool temperatures and variable clouds through Friday. But that will quickly give way to a picture-perfect Northwest weekend. Saturday and Sunday should bring clear skies and not a drop of rain, even in most of the mountain areas.

A few clouds could move in late Sunday, ushering in what Mass calls a “deterioration” on Monday. That will bring increasing clouds and a good chance of rain over the lowlands and near the coast.

“Unfortunately that deterioration is going to continue into Thursday, maybe early Friday before a ridge starts moving in,” says Mass.

Thursday's Deluge

But that rain we’re likely to see early in the week probably won’t be anything like the torrential downpours that swept across the region early Thursday evening.

“We had the most amazing thunderstorm line coming through yesterday,” Mass says. “We were all primed for it. The air was really laden with moisture … and that’s the fuel for thunderstorms.”

Some places got up to an inch of rain in about a half-hour, Mass says, leading to street flooding and sewage overflows.

“We, ironically in a wet place here in the northwest, can’t handle the really intense thunderstorms that we get so rarely,” says Mass.

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The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.