Weather

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Trick-or-treaters can look forward to less-than-ghoulish weather for this evening's candy harvest. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass said Friday's rainy Pacific front should clear off to the east by the time the ghosts and goblins hit the streets.

(Does anyone dress up as ghosts or goblins anymore? Perhaps I should say "Marvel heroes," or "Provocatively-dressed pop culture figures." -ed.)

"It may not be as scary tonight as some people feared," said Mass, Professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. "Maybe there will be a few showers, but it will be mainly dry, so not too bad. And temperatures getting up into the upper 50s today [Friday]."

Aaron Brethorst

Go out and play this weekend, and don’t worry about getting wet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"There's going to be no rain, no snow, no nothing on Saturday and Sunday," said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

"'In fact, shocking: we're going to have sun,” he said, “no doubt about it, because of the strong ridge of pressure over us.”

Matthew Rutledge / Flickr

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.

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

Some parts of Western Washington are seeing their first snowflakes of the season.

The National Weather Service says the light Tuesday morning accumulations will be short-lived but more showers are possible Wednesday with a chance of high winds in places.

Forecasters expect heavy snow in the mountains in the next couple of days. Accumulations of 1 to 3 feet are likely in the Cascades by Thursday morning, making driving through the passes difficult.

WSDOT

The strongest Northwest storm of the season blew in early Monday on winds that gusted to more than 80 mph on the coast, knocking out power in places and creating blizzard-like conditions in the mountains.

Winds knocked a tree onto a home in Lakewood, Wash., near where a 2-year-old was sleeping, but it missed the baby's crib.

Winds also were blamed for sinking two boats on Lake Washington at Kirkland, Wash., and KOMO radio reported that the fire department helped two people who were sleeping on one of the boats.

It's Rain Day in Seattle — or at least that's what the city should consider calling November 19. As KOMO-TV reports, Nov. 19 "is statistically the most likely day to have rain in Seattle," with wet weather hitting the city on 89 out of the past 120 years, including today's deluge.

The streak of dry weather in much of the Northwest is about to come to a soggy end. A weather system fueled by subtropical moisture is bearing down on the region.

Forecasters say some coastal mountain areas could see up to eight inches of rain this weekend, with as much as two inches predicted for interior valleys. Many of those areas have had just a smattering of rain drops since the beginning of July.

Kathie Dello is deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University. She says dry summers are common in the Northwest, but ...

Greg Johnson / Skunk Bay Weather Blog

Greg Johnson, a Puget Sound weather aficionado, was recently called out by KPLU’s own weather expert Cliff Mass for a unique video that shows the development of superior mirages during the day. And, with our string of sunny days, there has been plenty of opportunity to see the mirages this summer.

A rain shower Sunday night dropped the first measurable moisture since July 23 at Sea-Tac Airport. That ended the dry stretch at 48 days, the second-longest on record. 

The record is 51 days set in the summer of 1951 at Sea-Tac.

"This is like losing a high-scoring basketball or football game by only 1 point....really frustrating!  There is a significant chance this will be the only rain Sea-Tac gets out of the frontal passage," KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass wrote in his blog.

Jake Ellison / KPLU

Hard to know what to root for – a record dry spell or the return of rain.

Our weather expert and University of Washington professor Cliff Mass says the race is on, and it’ll be close.

Dry spell likely to continue in Northwest

Sep 1, 2012

Northwesterners heading out for the Labor Day weekend have a pretty good chance of staying dry. The region is in the midst of one of the driest streaks on record. And there's little chance of that changing soon.

It hasn't been your imagination. It's been really dry in the Northwest this summer. In fact, it's been mid-July since Seattle, Portland and Boise have recorded any measurable precipitation.

jikido-san / Flickr

The Labor Day weekend coming up marks the unofficial end of summer -- time to put away those white pants and get ready for fall.

KPLU asked folks on the streets of downtown Seattle how they feel about the days getting shorter and autumn right around the corner?

It's not a scientific poll, but there's no question that some people love the crisp fall air that heralds in the start of school...while others dread the stress of more work and less play.

[Listen to our audio collage, by clicking on the "play" icon above.] 

Evan Hoover / KPLU

In the Seattle region, where we have few air conditioners, a string of 90-plus days can raise alarms:

But with the rest of the country melting under temperatures of 100 degrees or more for days in a row and drought striking the Midwest, we wonder if perhaps we in the Northwest are heat wimps.

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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