Mass: Jaw-Dropping Front to Make for Wet, Windy Weekend

Sep 27, 2013

Cliff Mass says his jaw dropped when he looked at the satellite image of an approaching system.

That wet front due to arrive on Saturday is “so extensive, so wide, and so intense” for a September storm, says Mass, KPLU weather expert and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Friday won’t be a total washout; the afternoon will bring a few showers, says Mass. But Saturday is a different story.

“Especially starting in the morning hours, it’s going to get way, way wetter,” Mass said. “Relatively heavy rain—rain that’s capable of producing some minor flooding—is occurring in September, and that normally doesn’t happen.”

A very wet system is expected to move in on Saturday.

“I looked at the infrared satellite picture over the Pacific, and I just opened my mouth; my jaw dropped,” said Mass.

That jaw-dropping front will be moving in around 2 or 3 a.m. Saturday, and stay all day, says Mass.

The mountains will likely see 5 to 10 inches of rain this weekend, and the lowlands will see a couple inches.

In addition to the rain, Saturday will be quite blustery, says Mass.

“So winds could be gusting up to 20, 25 mph in places, but the rain is the thing you’re going to notice,” he said.

After the front moves through on Saturday, we’ll see a short break before a weaker system moves through on Sunday, producing more rain, says Mass.


The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU 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 a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.