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

Minnae / Flickr

You can watch out not only for rain showers, but perhaps even some thunder showers on Friday, says Cliff Mass, the KPLU weather expert and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at UW.

If you're planning ahead, he says in this week's podcast, Friday afternoon will get the worst of it, with Saturday slightly less, and Sunday tapering off more and warming up a few degrees.

And, if you're wondering, When will the water at our beaches be warm enough to get in?... Mass has some bad news. The early part of summer is when winds conspire to create "upwelling" along much of the Pacific coast, and that makes the water get colder.

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Just one day of glory is all we get, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. The clouds roll in tonight, at least around most of western Washington, followed by periods of rain tomorrow.

The sun will still be shining over Portland on Saturday, and east of the Cascades, says Mass, a UW professor of Atmospheric Sciences.

The changes are all typical of June, he says, and by the middle of next week, we'll likely flip back to a few days of sunshine.

This week's interview also covers how to "read" the clouds and tell if rain is on the way.

 

Steve-h / Flickr

When Cliff Mass talks about "June Gloom," it's about the clouds more than rain. June doesn't get all that much measurable precipitation, but the clouds lock in place, and sunshine can be rare.

The Associated Press

The forecast for today and tomorrow calls for sun and low to mid-70s temperatures, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. But, the sun and clear skies will give way on Sunday and Monday to clouds and temperatures at least 10 degrees lower.

Basically, we’re still transitioning into the “June gloom.”

Digital Sextant / flickr

You can blame a ridge of pressure over the Pacific for pushing a layer of cool, cloudy marine air over western Washington, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Sam Reed / Flickr

The rumors of imminent warmth are confirmed, by KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"The whole weekend is going to be extraordinary," says Mass, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

Today, KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass and science reporter Keith Seinfeld touch on the forecast – cloudy through most of Saturday, then getting better through Monday – and then take up a common thread throughout NW weather history: grousing.

Here's a weather report from 1855 published in the Puget Sound Courier:

"Well, March went out, April came in, and with it, cold, wet, disagreeable weather, and a universal spirit of discontent, and a disposition to 'growl'"

"Throughout the entire month, and even up to this, the last day of May, it has been precisely the same, and some amongst us profess to be so thoroughly disgusted with the weather .... that they threaten to leave the Territory altogether."

joiseyshowaa / flickr

Yet another weekend that beats the work-week, when it comes to sunshine--that's the forecast from KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, of the University of Washington.

But, it won't exactly be warm and sunny.

Chris Tarnawski / Flickr

April showers will dry out today, and by Saturday, most of western Washington should see sunshine. But, we're not so sure about Sunday.

If you've been enjoying sunshine and how the light plays off the blossoms or the water -- there's more in store this weekend. But, it's not "normal," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"It's been drier than normal this month. From April first until now, we are over an inch below normal, in terms of rainfall. We have been warmer than normal this past week," he says.

That continues through Sunday, with temperatures reaching the lower to mid-60s.

Carlye Calvin / UCAR

A few scattered showers on Friday--and some puffy cumulus clouds--will dry out for Saturday.

"It should be a glorious day. And interestingly enough it should be warmer in western Washington than eastern Washington, which is not the normal situation this time of year," says KPLU weather expert and UW professor Cliff Mass.

The sunshine should stick around Sunday, but there's a bit of a debate among meteorologists over what happens Sunday evening and next week.

This March was Portland's wettest month ever, with a record-breaking 7.73 inches of rain. And, records fell throughout most of Washington last month, as well, reports KPLU weather expert 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.

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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."

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