Weather with Cliff Mass

University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and renowned Seattle weather prognosticator/personality Cliff Mass has joined KPLU’s roster of commentators.

"Weather with Cliff Mass", our new five-minute feature hosted by KPLU's environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp, airs every Friday beginning at 9 a.m. immediately following "BirdNote", and will repeat twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. It is also available as a podcast on kplu.org

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.

Doug Mahugh

We may get a rare treat this weekend. There’s a real chance we might catch the Northern Light in western Washington, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Perfect viewing conditions,” Mass said. “The skies are not only clear but they’re dry. The viewing is good; the big question is whether we will actually see them.”

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.”

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