Northwest beaches

Water Quality
4:09 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Washington beaches mostly safe, but 3 get failing grades

Larrabee State Park, near Bellingham, gets an F in Heal the Bay's report Card. Dangerous levels of bacteria that can make people sick have been showing up since 2007.
Courtesy Washington BEACH program Wa State dept of ecology

Thinking of heading for the beach this weekend?  You’re mostly safe.

A California non-profit has just issued its 3rd annual end-of-summer report card on water quality, including beaches in Washington and Oregon. It shows almost all As and Bs in the northwest…but also 3 “F” grades.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:17 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Rain for sure, says Cliff Mass, but summer rain is different

Ah, summer rain can be delightful ... but, like it or not, we're in for it.
Minnae Flickr

You can watch out not only for rain showers, but perhaps even some thunder showers on Friday, says Cliff Mass, the KPLU weather expert and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at UW.

If you're planning ahead, he says in this week's podcast, Friday afternoon will get the worst of it, with Saturday slightly less, and Sunday tapering off more and warming up a few degrees.

And, if you're wondering, When will the water at our beaches be warm enough to get in?... Mass has some bad news. The early part of summer is when winds conspire to create "upwelling" along much of the Pacific coast, and that makes the water get colder.

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Japanese Tsunami
1:18 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Things you'll find from the Japanese tsunami on NW beaches

Anna Pietz and her daughter examine debris at Rialto Beach in La Push, Wash., on Saturday. The two had volunteered with Washington Coastsavers. Pietz said they did find a Japanese float believed to be from the tsunami.
Anna Pietz

If you visit a Northwest ocean beach this summer, you’ll likely run across objects from last year’s Japanese tsunami.

The things you’ll likely see include milk jugs, detergent bottles, tooth brushes and bottles for water, pop or juices with Japanese stamps, marks and labels. Perhaps a soccer ball or a volleyball -- two that washed up on an Alaskan island have been claimed by their Japanese owners.

The things you are highly unlikely to see are human remains, refrigerators or anything else that would have to be sealed to float or can come apart, like bigger parts of houses. Months on the ocean will breakup anything with parts, experts say.

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