Do you know the term "Juneuary"? That’s what many people living in the Pacific Northwest call this time of year because of a combination of factors that make the month of June less than spring-like. There’s the typical low cloud cover, shared with the rest of the coast all the way into Northern California and often referred to as "June Gloom." And then there are periods of heavy rain that sometimes hit unexpectedly. That’s what happened on Thursday, when an atmospheric river hit the coast. (You can learn more about that by listening to the podcast of this conversation. Click the ‘play’ icon at the top of this post.)
But Mass says things are looking up this weekend.
“The worst is over,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass on Friday morning. “The heavy rain passed through yesterday. And today we just have a few residual showers, mainly in the mountains.”
Mass, a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, predicts partly cloudy skies for the weekend ahead, with maybe a few sprinkles on Friday around the Puget Sound area, with skies brightening as the day goes on.
“Temperatures are only getting into the mid-60s – maybe 65-67, so not a bad day.”
Very Nice Saturday
Mass says Saturday will be the best day of the weekend, with temperatures again “probably getting to the upper 60s” and partly cloudy skies.
“A decent day, pretty dry,” Mass said.
Wet Sunday Morning
“Unfortunately, a weak weather system is coming in Saturday night - Sunday morning. So, clouds will start coming in later on Saturday,” Mass said.
He says expect the rain to start somewhere after midnight bringing in the first showers “…relatively light – between midnight and sometime around breakfast time,” on Sunday.
“Maybe 9 or 10’clock in the morning, we’ll have some showers,” he said.
But it improves after that.
“As the day goes on Sunday, I think the situation will improve. The rain will probably be over by lunchtime and the clouds will slowly lessen. And I think it will be partly sunny by the end of the day. The air will be a little bit warmer – so highs will get around 70 – maybe 72 on Sunday.”
Mass says that means if you’re planning a picnic with dad for Father’s Day, do aim for the later part of the day.
“If you’re planning any type of outdoor activity, delay it as much as possible on Sunday and you’ll definitely have better weather.”
And then Monday, Mass says, should bring a big improvement.
“Partly cloudy skies, lots of sun, temperatures getting up into the mid-70s,” he said.
“So, Monday – unfortunately for the weekend lovers – will be the best day of the period.”
To hear an extended forecast, along with Mass's explanation of how atmospheric rivers form and how the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains can affect local weather as it did on Thursday this week, you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post.
Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:07 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.