Weather

Weather with Cliff Mass
10:31 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Mass: Sun This Weekend, Dusting Of Fresh Snow In The Mountains

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.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:16 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Mass: Summer Weather Takes a Bow Over Long Weekend

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.

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Science
9:04 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

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.

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Weather
8:43 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Snow spreads across Washington

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.

Weather
9:43 am
Mon December 17, 2012

High winds, mountain snow across Washington

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Screenshots from the WSDOT traffic cameras.
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.

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Seattle rain
9:26 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

In Seattle, 'Rainiest Day Of The Year' Defends Its Title

Parking attendants search for a clogged drain in Seattle Monday. Pacific storms are rolling across the Northwest, according to the National Weather Service.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:48 am

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.

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Weather
3:20 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Northwest's long regional nightmare of sunshine is about over

Forecasters say some coastal mountain areas in the Northwest could see up to eight inches of rain this weekend. Satellite image via National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:45 pm

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 ...

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Weather
2:20 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Video: Plenty of superior mirages this summer – here's a great one

Weather aficionado Greg Johnson calls this image looking at Bush Point from his home in Hansville on the Kitsap Peninsula the "Bush Point Condos."
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.

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Summer of 2012
7:04 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Seattle dry streak ends, missing record by very narrow margin

To show how close we came to missing the rain, Cliff Mass writes, here is the total precipitation as of 6 AM around the area for Seattle Rainwatch. Zero precipitation (white) was so close.

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.

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Diversions
4:23 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Do you want Seattle to beat the record for days without rain?

Seattle and environs seen yesterday afternoon. We're closing in on the all-time record for sunny/dry days.
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.

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Weather
9:24 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Dry spell likely to continue in Northwest

This summer in the Northwest has been one of the driest on record. Photo by Chris Phan via Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:47 pm

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.

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Changing Seasons
5:01 am
Thu August 30, 2012

End of summer blues, already?

Late summer brings the delight of blooming Dahlias in the northwest...but they'll be gone in just a few weeks. Are you counting the days till school starts? Or dreading the lack of light in winter?
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.] 

Weather
2:31 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Sure it's hot, but are we heat wimps in Seattle and the NW?

We don't use them in the rain, but umbrellas help us out on the sunny days.
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.

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Economy
1:16 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:30 pm

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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Weather
7:44 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Seattle hit record 70 on sunny Sunday

Under sunny skies, the temperature hit a record 70 degrees Sunday in Seattle, breaking the old record of 69 set in 1996.

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