Weather with Cliff Mass

NOAA

What happens when a river runs into a mountain?

An atmospheric river, carrying dense clouds of moisture from the tropical Pacific, has been colliding with our mountains, and all that moisture has been dropping like a waterfall.

indigo / Flickr

It's true, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, of the University of Washington. It will feel like spring from here on out.

We had clear skies starting this morning, and temperatures will approach 60 on Saturday, says Mass. Expect a few clouds on Sunday, but still a pleasant day.

Steve Wall / Flickr

Sure spring is coming next week, but KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass says we'll be seeing plenty of rain and even some snow this weekend and it doesn't get any better for days to come.

Mass explains on his blog: "Last winter we were securely in La Nina conditions and the region experienced a miserable, cold, wet spring that lasted into mid summer.   Horror to all soccer and Little League parents.

"This winter we have also been in a La Nina and since early February we have been colder and wetter than normal, with snowpack surging in our mountains. Yes, it appears we are dealing with  the revenge of La Nina."

Mike Kelley / Flickr

Weekend weather will be cloudy with showers off and on ... a pretty classic Northwest late winter forecast, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass of the University of Washington. Rain should arrive by dinner-time.

Watch for a bigger storm on Monday, particularly on the coast, where winds could hit 50 mph.

The clouds we've seen so far this week have been pretty interesting. Cloud watchers got a great show yesterday of "lenticular" clouds.

Mass says they look like stacks of plates -- and may have helped set off the UFO craze.

On his blog, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass writes:

Sunday should be great....sunny, much warmer air...many will see the mid-50s.   A big ridge over us....   Plan to get outdoors!

 

In general, warmer temperatures are in store, beginning this evening, says Mass in his weekly weather conversation with KPLU. You can expect a little of everything on Saturday, before it clears out on Sunday.

Next week, Mass says it will be cooler and wet again, fitting with the La Nina pattern that's settled in place.

Shannon Kringen / Flickr

That's the forecast as of Friday morning, from KPLU and UW weather expert Cliff Mass.

"I don't know if you'll wake up to it, but Sunday morning into Sunday, during the day there will be some snow showers," says Mass.

Michael Cornelius / flickr

It's too wimpy to call it a storm, but wind and rain will dominate through tonight and tomorrow, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The winds will be hard to miss along the Washington coast, getting up to 60 mph. But, as Mass explains, the coastal mountains tend to cut down those winds by the time they reach Puget Sound, leaving us with merely blustery conditions.

By Sunday, it should dry out, and skiers will find a lot of fresh snow waiting for them in the mountains. Next week appears to offer more mild temperatures with occasional rain showers.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

You can call it light rain or "the good rain" (after local author Tim Egan), but either way, it’s the signature of the great Northwest. And it's here through much of the weekend.

That's the forecast from KPLU expert and UW professor Cliff Mass.

Flickr

Today’s forecast calls for sunshine, says KPLU’s weather scientist Cliff Mass. And, as scientists are bound to do, he also notes some interesting details not as obvious as the sun in the sky.

“We may have a lot of sunshine but there are a lot of subtleties going on in the next few days that are worth talking about,” Mass said.

flickr/Oran Viriyincy

The weather is so normal, it's almost boring, at least to atmospheric scientists like the UW's Cliff Mass.

"Unfortunately, next week, we just have one minor system after the other coming through," says Mass. "No real severe weather. No big snowstorms or windstorms."

With the morning fog burning off Friday, Mass sees sunshine through this afternoon.

More than 250,000 people are without power and all modes of transportation are still a mess, but “this snow/sleet/freezing rain event is basically done,” reports KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

However, Mass said on his weather blog, “Now I hate to bring this up ... but the forecast models for the next week indicate some intense weather in store for us. Heavy rains, strong windstorms.”

The Associated Press

The big melt continues all day and through the evening, as temperatures settle into the 40's.

KPLU and UW weather expert Cliff Mass says "it should feel quite warm" and generally stay above freezing for the next few days.

Given what's already on the ground – and with heavy rains tonight – it's a recipe for a mess.

The Associated Press

Cliff Mass, KPLU weather expert and University of Washington professor, says the snow storm we woke up to is almost out of gas:

"... amazingly the worst is almost over. In fact, it should really be all over for most of the western side of the Cascades by 1 PM," he said.

Adam DeClercq / Flickr

But not too much. 

"It's not going to be the big snow-storm," says KPLU weather expert, and UW professor, Cliff Mass.

The areas most likely to get a couple inches of snow are the so-called "convergence zone," between north Seattle and Everett, and in the Bellingham area. For everyone else, Mass says it will be "hit and miss" depending on so many factors that it's hard to generalize.

Dave Morrow / Flickr

"No major storms, no major weather, as far as I can see."

That's weather expert Cliff Mass's summary for western Washington. Mild, perhaps a shower or two Friday night, and a chance of sun on Sunday.

*Psycho Delia* photo / Flickr

"It was like Palm Springs around much of the Northwest" recently, says KPLU's weather man, Cliff Mass. But that will be shifting soon. 

"Unfortunately, we're about to make a major shift into a much rainier pattern - a much more normal pattern."

Daveybot / flickr

A drought in December? It's been record dry this month, so far, says KPLU weather-meister Cliff Mass. In the meantime, we'll get a few showers, and possibly a glorious Saturday.

The off-shore pressure "ridge" is still there, keeping all the storms away from the Northwest. But, it's weakening, and the "inversion" -- which led to stagnant air, burn-bans, and so much fog -- appears to be breaking up.

Peter Brenda

If you had the time to take a hike today, or hit the ski slopes, you'd find it's maybe 20 or 30 degrees warmer when you climb above 3,000 feet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

That's because the atmospheric inversion is extreme today, trapping cold air in the cities of Puget Sound-opolis, while the warm air is trapped above.

Mass says it won't last. A bit of rain will break up our unusual dry spell, starting late on Saturday. Then, on Tuesday, the inversion ends, as a storm starts to mix the air.

Associated Press

The weather we are experiencing today will continue for the next week, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. And that means the high winds in California, parts of Utah and Nevada are likely to continue as well.

“We are going to see our weather dominated by high pressure right off shore in the Eastern Pacific – it’s going to prevent any weather system from getting in here,” Mass said. “So it should be dry for the next, at least, three to five days. No precipitation. No storms. No nothing.”

Alex Galkin / Flickr

It may be drying out this weekend and into next week ... but this past week brought some serious rain.

Ken Douglas / KPLU

We have all the ingredients for a light dusting of snow between midnight tonight and noon Saturday. What are those ingredients? The colder than normal air from British Columbia that could bring the snow level down to between 800 to 1,000 feet and some rain from the south, according to KPLU's weather master Cliff Mass.

The type of wind and rainstorm blowing into western Washington has done some amazing damage in the past. Weather expert Cliff Mass is not forecasting anything so huge this weekend, but we will get a "westerly wind surge," gusty enough to expect some power outages on Whidbey Island. 

Winds could gust to 50 or 60 miles per hour in some parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca -- as a front from the north accelerates down the strait and barrels into Whidbey and the Everett area.

Two examples that Mass recalls vividly:

Jake Ellison / KPLU

We're getting some beautiful sunrises and until we set our clocks back, we’re all up to see them!

Today and Saturday we’ll get some of those morning sprinkles, but the afternoons clear off with temperatures hitting around 50, and then starting on Saturday afternoon we get some “very interesting” weather for the Northwest, says KPLU’s weather expert Cliff Mass.

sea turtle / Flickr

A strong storm front is moving in and will make today and Sunday mostly wet with a break from the rain on Saturday, KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass says. And trick-or-treaters on Monday should have decent weather. 

After Friday's rain and windstorm subsides, you'll have a chance to ponder what Mass calls Washington's "most dangerous weather phenomenon."

The Puget Sound region will be in for increasing rain with temperatures hanging up around the mid-50s through the weekend but letting up Sunday afternoon until Tuesday when there'll be more sun, KPLU's weatherman Cliff Mass says.

... unless you live or play under the 'blue hole' over Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend – that area northeast of the Olympics.

Cliff Mass

A gray day today, but some perfect fall days are in store, according to KPLU and UW weather expert Cliff Mass.

"Tomorrow (Saturday), we are going to have actually quite a nice day. A weak ridge builds over the region. So we are going to have sun with temperatures getting up perhaps into the lower 60's and really a decent sunny day."

Mass sees a mix of sun, clouds and possibly a  shower on Sunday. The sun doesn't bring much warmth this time of year, unless it gets a little help.

"That help is coming up during the next few days," he says.

Aarthi Ramamurthy / Flickr

Forecasters aren’t perfect, but we can be pretty sure of the rain falling this morning.

The cooler temps and heavier rain are a few weeks early, forecaster Cliff Mass told KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld, but the front dropping this rain will move through by mid-day today leaving Saturday mostly dry with rain returning that evening through Sunday morning.

But this could all be off by a few hours either way, because the official forecasters only publish every six hours. And those forecasts are used by nearly all the different weather Websites and news organizations.

Trevin Chow / Flickr

Weak weather fronts mean the sun should stick around through the weekend, with temperatures in the lower 70s and mid-60s and some occasional light showers. Then, a stronger front moves in late Sunday that will seal our fate for next week – at least when it comes to no sun.  

“The pattern of the atmosphere is shifting,” Cliff Mass told KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld, “so we are going from a ridge-like pattern to a trough-like pattern, which means that for much of next week we are going to be stuck in a cloudy, wet situation with highs getting up to only around 60.”

It’s the first day of fall, but you can’t trust the calendar to tell us what kind of weather we’ll be having. … So, we turn to Cliff Mass and KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld to give it to us straight.

First, it’s the water vapor in the air covering us like a blanket that will keep us warm and humid today and tomorrow. But it all changes again on Monday. And with a new radar station coming online on the coast, Mass says we’ll be able to see our future weather much more clearly.

Lattiboy / KPLU

That's it – nine days of summer. The nine days of over 80 degree temperatures in September look like the best we'll get this year.

“Looking at the maps, the large scale maps over the hemisphere, things have really changed. We’ve gone from a summer-type pattern to a much more winter-like pattern," Cliff Mass told KPLU's Keith Seinfeld in this morning's weather report. "The Jet stream is really strengthening and the storm systems are moving south. “

Pages