'Best Summer' Continues For Western Washington This Weekend

Jul 14, 2017

There will be plenty of sunshine and opportunities for enjoying the outdoors this weekend, especially in and around Seattle. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the city "is known to have the best summer in the United States."

We'll have highs in the upper 70s for Friday and Saturday for the whole region, with no precipitation and hardly any clouds.

"What can I tell you? It couldn't be any better than that," Mass said.

Cooling off Saturday night

An upper level trough is expected to move through, which will bring marine air onshore.

"I expect on Sunday morning we'll see some low clouds. And Sunday will definitely be a knock down in temperature. Probably temperatures getting up maybe into the low, maybe mid 70s, but not any more than that. It'll be cloudy in the morning, then breaking out in the afternoon," Mass said.

Things will warm up again at the start of the week on Monday and Tuesday with temperatures hitting the mid to upper 70s.

Enjoying the perfect weather now, with an eye to the future

A recent piece in New York Magazine called "The Uninhabitable Earth" has been getting a lot of attention. Mass says while it's important to think about the future, and the effects of climate change on the planet, he and others in the scientific community are concerned the article gets a few things wrong.

"One of them is it says the latest satellite data shows that the earth is warming up twice as fast as our models were forecasting," Mass said. "Well, that's simply not true. In fact, things are warming up about the pace we were expecting."

He says the article also is wrong about the effect methane will have on the atmosphere as the earth warms and permafrost melts, releasing methane. Mass says most of that methane will actually stay in the permafrost. 

"One of the most egregious statements was they're talking about air quality. Ozone was going to rapidly increase and people are going to have all kinds of health problems because they couldn't breathe the air. Well, it turns out that's not true," Mass said. "Ozone, even as we've been warming, has been going down in most locations, and that's because our cars have become much cleaner."

Stay informed with multiple sources

Mass says he isn't sure this type of article is "productive."

"I'm not sure it encourages people to do the right thing. I suspect it causes them to turn off to the whole topic."

Mass suggests reading multiple sources to make sure you understand an issue and "stay skeptical."

Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:02 a.m. Friday, right after BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, via iTunes or Google Play.