Weather with Cliff Mass

Tim Durkan

If you ever have a question about the weather, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass wants to hear it. We’ve assembled answers to a range of listener queries and will be answering them over the next two weeks. Here’s the first batch.

Puget Sound Energy

Winds that toppled trees and caused about 150,000 power outages around the Puget Sound region have subsided, but they made for some exciting weather Thursday night, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Joel Telling / Flickr

Replace your wool hat and gloves with your rain gear. We’re back to warm and wet weather, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The rain will settle in Friday and temperatures will rise into the 50s, says Mass, setting the stage for the rest of the weekend.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Forget any hopes you may have had for skiing over the holiday weekend. But you might see some snow at sea level.

Pat Teglia / Flickr

The week before Thanksgiving is normally the wettest, stormiest part of the year in the Pacific Northwest. And true to form, the rains and wet clouds are back, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“If you look at the records going back decades, this is the week: ground zero for storms and wetness here in the Northwest. And it may not disappoint,” Mass said.

Tim Durkan

Keep your hats and scarves handy. The clear skies and cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing will continue through the middle of next week, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Aaron Brethorst

Sick of the howling winds that swept through Thursday? KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass has good news: “We’re not going to see that the rest of the weekend, and early next week, just the opposite.”

Tim Durkan

This weekend will start off wet and cloudy, but the rain will give way to milder conditions, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass says things will steadily improve over the weekend, with each day a bit better than the last.

Tim Durkan

Find yourself wondering about a certain weather pattern or phenomenon? Ask KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Every Friday, Mass chats with KPLU's environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp about the weekend weather and the science behind it.

Spappy.joneS / Flickr

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a link to Craig Welch's response. 

A warmer planet will certainly cause more intense rains in the Northwest and we should start getting ready for that now, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Aaron Brethorst

Fall is in the air, and you’ll want to keep a raincoat handy, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass says we can expect a big transition to deep autumnal clouds and rain early next week. But the weekend forecast is not as wet as predicted a few days ago, and Sunday should bring a break from the rain.

Aaron Brethorst

The weekend forecast is more complex than usual, thanks to something called a dirty ridge moving in, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Sunny Friday Before Dirty Ridge Moves In

Friday will be a "very, very nice day" with sun and temperatures reaching the lower 70s, thanks to a ridge of high pressure in the skies above.

“A perfect fall day – well above normal," Mass said.

But he says on Saturday, something called a dirty ridge is expected to move in, bringing dueling weather regimes with it. A dirty ridge is an area of high pressure that’s not strong enough to push out all the clouds and rain. As a result, it will allow two weather regimes to settle in over the region.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It may be tempting to attribute current weather trends like the record warmth and early rains on climate change caused by humans. 

But KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says a newly-published paper should give us pause. It shows that the global warming of approximately 1 degree Celsius on the U.S. West Coast since 1900 appears more likely to be the result of natural variations than of human inputs of greenhouse gases.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Fall came in with a vengeance this week. An early atmospheric river dumped huge amounts of rain into the Northwest over the last few days, but it’s tapering off just in time for the weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It actually looks like a decent weekend,” Mass said. 

Tim Durkan

Don’t put away that sunscreen just yet.

Temperatures are expected to shoot back up into the upper 70s and even 80s for the last weekend of summer, topping off what will likely go down as the warmest summer in Seattle history.

Tim Durkan

The record-breaking summer isn’t giving way to fall just yet. Another gloriously sunny Northwest weekend is in store, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We will have a really beautiful weekend — no precipitation, clear skies and warming temperatures,” Mass said.

Jeff Lilley

This summer, we’ve already beat the record for the hottest July and August ever in the Seattle area. And this weekend, we can expect to build on that trend with clear skies and warming temperatures pushing toward what will likely be the hottest full summer season on record, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

“We’ve been having the best summer on record here in Washington state, and it’s not going away,” Mass said.

Tim Durkan

It won't be long now. 

Fall is just around the corner, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, and that means the holiday weekend won't be all sun. 

"We'll see a different weekend than we've been used to in the past," he said. "Temperatures are going to drop way back. No more 80s."

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Keep the sunscreen and swim trunks handy. The clouds are melting away and the forecast predicts another hotter-than-normal weekend with temperatures above the mid-70s that are typical for this time of year.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and could soon chart the hottest one in Northwest history.

Aaron Brethorst

A week of rain has turned what was a dry summer into a normal one, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

But don’t let the clouds and drizzle get you down. Mass says the forecast will progressively warmer and sunnier over the weekend.

Tim Durkan

Go ahead and gloat. We’ve got one of those hot, sunny August western Washington weekends ahead that make it worth living here despite the long, dark winters.

Low clouds will melt away, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, as temperatures steadily rise over the weekend, hitting 90 maybe even as early as Sunday and certainly by Monday.  

“A warming period is going to happen,” said Mass. “And that’s because a trough that brought us cooler temperatures this week is moving off and a pretty high-amplitude ridge is building in its place.”

Courtesy Cliff Mass

The Pacific Northwest stands out as just about the only part of the country that will be largely spared from the ill effects associated with global warming, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, who mapped out all the calamities expected to result from climate change over the next century.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be plenty of sunshine for Seafair weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but dry conditions and a chance of lightning could mean trouble for firefighters.

The last week of July is historically the driest week of the year. And despite record-breaking rain last week, the forecast for the days ahead fits the bill for this time of year, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We’re going to have sun, warmth and virtually no precipitation,” Mass said of the week ahead.

Tim Durkan

If you love sunshine, Friday’s the day to get out and enjoy it.

The cooling trend we’ve been experiencing will continue this weekend and even bring some rain with it, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Tim Durkan

Make sure you’ve refilled the ice trays. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s going to get hot in the days ahead.

Doug Mahugh

Sunny skies on the Fourth of July are not something to take for granted in Seattle. But revelers can count their blessings this year, as the clouds are expected to burn off and give way to a decent day for picnics and fireworks displays, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Much better than some other Fourth of Julys,” Mass said.

Tim Durkan

Keep your rain gear handy if you’re headed outside this weekend. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we’re starting to pay for the drier-than-usual June we’ve had this year.

But Mass says sunny days are around the corner; things will improve by the Fourth of July weekend.

Tim Durkan

The nude cyclists at Seattle’s Fremont parade can look forward to comfortable summer temperatures on Saturday afternoon. And it might even be a bit too hot for runners at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

A weak front has passed through, says Mass, and the clouds and sprinkles are expected to subside in time for the summer solstice Saturday.

Tim Durkan

Friday will bear the worst of the weekend weather, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but don’t expect sunshine on Father’s Day.

The rain returned on Friday with a “fairly good drenching” — “the first substantial rain” in nearly two weeks — and the clouds are expected to stick around for most of the weekend, Mass said.

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