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

Get out your shades and sunscreen: this weekend promises to be mild and very sunny, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’s gonna be quite good,” said Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Got outdoor plans this weekend? You’ll want to make use of your Saturday morning, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

This weekend's rain caused parts of western Washington to see the wettest March on record as was predicted by KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass

"My lawn has turned into a carpet of moss and my deck is now green," Mass said on Sunday.

Photo by Neil Banas / Flickr via Compfight

Friday's steady rain is contributing to what may become a record-breaking March for total rainfall in many places in the Northwest.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says a wet front is coming through western Washington.

Jonathan Cooper

Spring has officially arrived, but warmer temperatures have not. Those warmer days lie ahead, but first we’ll have to get through a cool and wet weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Tim Durkan

 

Just when you thought spring had arrived in the Pacific Northwest, winds and wet weather are sweeping in.

We're in for another wet weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass — but not without sun breaks.

Jaymar Turner photo / Compfight/Flickr

After a record-breaking week of strong rain, Friday will bring a bit of reprieve. But the rain will return this weekend, even in the mountains, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Still, there is good news: come next week, we’ll start transitioning into spring.

Martha Kang / KPLU

Soak in Friday’s sun and spring-like temperatures while you can, because they won’t stick around this weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass says snow is once again in the forecast for parts of western Washington.

Shannon Kringen / Flickr via Compfight

The weekend forecast includes chances of snow, but nothing's for certain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"This is a hard one," said Mass. “There’s a lot of uncertainty here. I’ll tell you that right in the beginning.”

Jim Stiles

We’re getting the “weather we need,” so get ready for a wet and windy weekend, says KPLU expert Cliff Mass.

“Our water supply was well below normal,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “Very rapidly, the snowpack is getting replenished in the mountains. The reservoirs are filling. And by the end of this week, I don’t think we’ll have to worry water for this summer or the coming fall.”

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Just how much longer will this cold snap last?

“Only through the end of the weekend,” said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

And the Seattle area likely won’t see snow before it’s over.

National Weather Service

Olympia and points south could see a dusting of snow on Thursday night, but not enough to accumulate, says the National Weather Service.

The region might see more snow on Saturday, but exactly where and how much remain unclear, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Aaron Brethorst

“You can do anything you want over this weekend,” said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. “No storms, no nothing. And in fact, there will be some sun.”

Things will dry out late Friday, and temperatures will reach the mid-40s in the lowlands, said Mass. Saturday will add partial sunshine.

Come Super Bowl Sunday, there will be “no weather around here to be worry about,” said Mass. Things will be fairly dry for most of the day.

“Then things get more interesting,” he said.

Tim Durkan

Start planning your weekend. The forecast looks sunny, dry and warm, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Temperatures in the lowlands will reach lower 50s in some places. And some spots along the coast might even see lower 60s,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Aaron Brethorst

Ready for spring? Head to the coast or the top of a mountain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The reason: “The diabolical ridge is over us right now,” says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Malcolm Ritter / AP Photo

Global warming behind the recent polar vortex? Nonsense, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“There’s really no basis for this,” said Mass, adding there's a lot of misguided hype on both sides of the issue. 

Tim Durkan

This weekend will bring heavy rain, strong winds and snow in the mountains, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“You can expect everything this weekend,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Tim Durkan

The year 2013 was “kind of a boring year,” says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. “Nothing really extraordinary.”

We saw average temperatures, no extreme storms and not much snow — much less excitement than Mass had hoped for. Even the few tornados we saw were not unusual, he says.

Still, Mass admits, “we had some interesting details.”

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.”

Dan Pickard

If you got caught in the fog on Thursday, you were not alone. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says he, too, got a bit lost in the muck on his way to the airport. 

Good News: No Burn Ban

The fog that lingered near Tacoma and Lynnwood will melt away soon, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

And there's a 50 percent chance of rain in the forecast, which is probably why there is no burn ban at the moment.

"There's a weak front approaching," said Mass, adding the front will cause the fog to dissipate.

Jennifer Strachan

Most of the snow fell overnight while western Washington slept, and "the worst is over," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. The metropolitan area of Seattle saw ¾-inch to 3 inches of snow while areas north of the city saw more.

“But for most people, they’ve seen the bulk of what they’re going to get," said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

It’s not always easy to predict lowland snow in the Pacific Northwest, but the latest weather models confirm snow is coming on Friday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Cliff Mass

Snow in the lowlands may snarl Friday's morning commute, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Models are still suggesting that there will be extensive lowland snow on Friday morning, between roughly 1 to 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, on his weather blog.

Our drier-than-usual fall is coming to a mild end as we return to the "old boring stuff," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

And that means a relatively dry weekend that’s much warmer than the last.

Lisa Nakamura

Shivering in the cold snap? The worst has yet to come, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

‘Colder Air than We’ve Had’

Temperatures will drop even more this weekend, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

“The coldest temperature of this event will occur Saturday and Sunday, and I expect Sunday morning to be ground zero for cold,” he said. "As the low goes by, cold air is going to be moving out—even colder air than we’ve had before.”

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Western Washington winters are relatively mild. We rarely see snow in the lowlands. But when it does snow, things freeze over in a hurry. 

Why does that happen? It has to do with our mild temperatures, says KPLU Weather expert Cliff Mass.

Jonathan Cooper

Uncertainty shrouds forecast models for the Thanksgiving weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but two things are for certain: there will be snow—possibly in the lowlands, and it will get much colder. 

But first, the good news: neither of those things will have started as people head out of town on Wednesday, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and pens a popular blog

Rob McNair-Huff

It may be chilly out there, but it’s also unusually dry for this time of year, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’s really startling,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “We’re in a most amazing pattern. I mean, this could be the wettest, stormiest time of the year, and it’s going to be basically dry over the next few days. In fact, I think probably the next week, we’re not going to see any precipitation.”

We may see a few clouds Tuesday and Wednesday, but then we’ll have wonderful weather for Thanksgiving, says Mass.

Jonathan Cooper

Batten down the hatches and get ready for a cold and gusty weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass says a major system in the Gulf of Alaska is headed our way, and will hit the lowlands with strong winds and the mountains with snow.

Tim Durkan

The November storms appear to be on hold with the weather expected to steadily improve over the weekend.

The dynamics that produced the double hitter of storms last week have subsided and are giving way to calmer skies and even some possible sunshine on Monday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

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