Mass' Weekend Forecast: Good, Better, Best with 'Even Some Sun'

Nov 8, 2013

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. 

“Actually it’s pretty benign over the weekend," said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, on Friday. "After having two storms this week, today we basically have a lot of clouds, maybe a weak convergence zone, a few showers floating around the mountains and on the coast, nothing much.” 

Saturday will bring more clouds as a weak disturbance comes through and some light showers.

“Temperatures getting up only into the lower 50s at the most, no heavy rain,” he said.

Then on Sunday, things will improve even more.

"Still quite a bit of clouds floating around, but Sunday should be mainly dry, certainly north of, let’s say, Tacoma," said Mass. "And it looks like it goes from fairly dry on Sunday to actually a quite a nice day on Monday, completely dry, I think we’ll even see some sun. So Veteran’s Day is actually the best day of the weekend."  

The Worst is Yet to Come

But as we near the end of the month, Mass says, the storms will appear more frequently.

“What’s so unusual about our weather is that we go from pretty decent weather in October to the stormiest period of the year at the end of November,” says Mass. “The end of November brings the wettest, stormiest—you name it—any time of the year. So ground zero is jut a few weeks away, so you have to expect a few storms.”

And we’ve already seen a few storms: the gusty storm that knocked out power to so many in the region last weekend, and a second storm that swept through Thursday.

Why is it so stormy in November? Blame the jet streams, says Mass.

The jet streams, which are usually up north by Alaska and British Columbia, strengthen and start to move south in October. By November, the jet streams are hovering over us, unleashing wet storms.

“You can think of the jet stream as a fire hose, and the disturbances are embedded in that fire hose,” said Mass. “And interestingly enough, the jet stream tends to move south of us as we get into December and early January. And so things actually improve as we get past that end of November.”


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.