Cooler weather has settled in all around the Puget Sound region after a rapid drop in temperatures that started Wednesday night.
KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says there will be a bit more sun peeking through the clouds in the days ahead. But overall, summer is starting with a mellower feel than the recent heat wave that pushed temps into the mid- and upper-80s.
Mass says thank the Pacific Ocean if you prefer the cooler temps. Blame the ocean if you wished for warmer temps to mark the summer solstice.
“We’ve had a marine push at low levels…That’s the natural air conditioning of our region,” said Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.
“And the temperatures dropped by about 15 degrees.”
He says along with the fact that the days are now officially getting shorter, Friday will remain quite cool.
Cool And Cloudy Friday
“I think temperatures will only get up into the lower to mid-60s along the coast, maybe mid-60s to upper-60s here in Puget Sound. And the temperatures are not going to get much above 70 anywhere on the west side of the Cascades,” Mass said.
“So, big, big change in temperature. Lots of clouds and even a few sprinkles,” he said.
Sun Peeking Through Late Saturday
Mass says Friday’s gray will yield a bit over the weekend.
“We’re going to see some improvement,” he said, predicting Saturday’s temps will reach into the lower or mid-70s as the cloud cover breaks up.
“We’ll start off with a lot of clouds and then it will open up in the afternoon,” he said.
Enjoy Sunday – Light Rain And Cool Down Again Starting Monday
Mass says the mercury will climb again on Sunday, getting up to 75 or 80, with “plenty of sun.”
But then on Monday and Tuesday, he says an upper level trough will comes in.
“And that’s going to push more clouds in, I think a few showers, sprinkles on the western side of the Cascades and maybe even a Puget Sound convergence zone between Seattle and Everett,” he said.
A Puget Sound convergence zone is an area of heavy rain that results when a jet stream from the Pacific comes in from the west and is split by the Olympic mountains, then comes back together east of them.
In any case, Mass says next week will begin a bit wetter than most folks in the region have been experiencing lately, before the sun starts to dominate again.
“So, a little bit of rain on Monday, maybe Tuesday, and then it will probably warm up again. But temperatures are only going to be in the low 70s at the highest," Mass said. “But it looks like a pretty nice week coming up after that. “
To hear the full conversation, including Cliff’s discussion of why and how temperatures only dropped this week below about 5,000 feet, you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post.
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.