Weather with Cliff Mass | KNKX

Weather with Cliff Mass

University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and renowned Seattle weather prognosticator/personality Cliff Mass has joined KNKX’s roster of commentators.

"Weather with Cliff Mass", our five-minute feature hosted by KNKX's environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp, airs every Friday  at 9 a.m.  following "BirdNote", and repeats twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. 

Learn more about Cliff’s crowdsourcing effort to fund climate research that he is spearheading at the University of Washington, click to learn more. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Where there’s heat, there is often fire. The fire risk on both sides of the Cascade Mountains is high in the week ahead, as temperatures will be zooming up as high as 90 degrees after a rather dry June.

vmax137 / Compfight via Flickr

If the cloudy and sometimes dark skies of late have been hard on you, just hang on a bit.  KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says “an improving trend” is ahead. 

Residents of the Pacific Northwest should soon be enjoying a long stretch of sunny skies. They have even  inspired music - like the 1969 TV tune about “the bluest skies you’ve ever seen” are  in Seattle.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Cloudy skies and cooler-than-normal temperatures will dominate in the week ahead, a continuation of the weather pattern many refer to as “June gloom” for the gray or “Juneuary” when the cloud cover comes with cold air.

It’s the kind of ‘blah’ weather that can disappoint people who expect blue skies in June. But the gray, at least, is pretty typical. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s going to stick around for a while.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

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.  

Andrei Pungovschi) / AP Photo

Last week brought heavy rain showers with cooler temps and even some snow to the mountains in places. But that’s changing as high pressure builds over the region, allowing a big warmup just in time for summer solstice celebrations this weekend and Father’s Day on Sunday.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

This May, people living in the Puget Sound region experienced a lot of warmth and a month so dry, it matched the record for the driest May on record. The dry spell actually began in mid-April, so it lasted about 6 weeks.

That was changing Friday as clouds rolled in and skies began to darken. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says folks here had better keep their rain gear in reach.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Cooler temps, clouds and wind gusts ushered out the record warmth Seattle area residents experienced in May, which also tied a record for lack of rain. All that changed on Friday as marine air surged in and cooled things off.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

The mix of sun and clouds in the Memorial Day weekend forecast should not come as a surprise to people living in the greater Puget Sound region.

Late May weather here often brings a tantalizing mix of sunny warmth with clouds that can quickly yield to cooler skies as drizzle or cool marine air pushes in.

But the weekend forecast should be mostly drizzle-free, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Kathy Moses / Colville Tribes Environmental Trust Program via AP

A rapid melt of mountain snowpack in eastern and central Washington is pushing some rivers to high levels not seen in decades.

It’s not that unusual, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, who expects the mild weather nearer to the coast to continue through this weekend.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

People in the Pacific Northwest have been experiencing a bit of a roller coaster ride weather-wise lately, with temperatures spiking up and down in a manner that KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says is quite typical for late May. The ride will go uphill this weekend to a predicted high of about 80 degrees on Sunday, just in time for Mother’s Day.

“The weekend is going to be wonderful,” Mass says. The clouds will dissipate later in the afternoon Friday, he says, as temperatures climb to the upper 60s and high pressure builds. Mass says it will stick around for a while.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Here are some upsides to cloudy weather: Cloud cover creates a soft light that's great for photographers. It’s harder to get a sun burn. And clouds can be really fun to look at.

Many of us may need a few reminders that clouds aren't so bad as we enter what could become an extended period in which low clouds and cooler temps dominate in the greater Puget Sound area.

Ed Ronco / KNKX

Folks around the Puget Sound region enjoyed a toasty week with temperatures in the 70s starting Tuesday. They even hit the low- to mid-80s in many places in western Washington.  

But the classic northwest “sandals-and-socks” people are now wearing their socks again.

beyondboundariesphotography / flickr via Compfight

After nearly three weeks of wet weather that was making it look like this month might shape up to be one of the rainiest Aprils on record, sunshine is on its way to the Pacific Northwest. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says there’s one last rainy stretch to get through late Friday, but after that, real spring warmth and strong sun is on the way.  

Kyle Jones / flickr via Compfight

If you were hoping April showers would hold off this weekend, don’t hold your breath. Be ready for more of the cool, wet weather that has been persisting in the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

‘April showers bring May flowers,’ or so the saying goes. Like Groundhog Day or dozens of sayings you can find cataloged in a Farmer’s Almanac, it’s part of the weather-related folklore that’s been passed down for generations. They hold some truth.

But most meteorologists prefer more scientific observations. For long-term forecasting, the ENSO - or "El Niño Southern Oscillation" - provides some of the most reliable guidance on what kind of weather to expect in winter.

Courtesy of Seattle Space Needle Panocam

A predominantly cloudy period has dominated in the greater Puget Sound region this past week, with intermittent showers and mostly mild temperatures. That pattern is expected to continue into next week, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass – with one exception.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

When you think of spring, visions of daffodils and cherry blossoms under warm, sunny skies may come to mind. Turns out the more typical aspects of this season, meteorologically speaking, come from the unstable atmosphere, which produces lots of wet and showery, cool weather.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The vernal equinox marks the official start of spring. That starts Tuesday. But for most folks in the Pacific Northwest, it feels like spring has already arrived. 

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Time to get out the short sleeves and sunscreen. Warm winds from the south and east are going to push the mercury to nearly summer-like levels in western Washington this weekend, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

The record cold, wet and snowy weather of late February has subsided. Residents of western Washington can look forward to a classic Northwest weekend, with mild temperatures, partly cloudy skies and just a chance of rain.

“It’s going to be a fairly dry weekend,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Don’t put away your hat and gloves. It’s going to stay cold for the next week or so and there will be snow on Friday. That much is certain, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass. The rest of the weekend forecast is tricky.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Bundle up and get ready for possible lowland snow in places. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says cool air moving in to western Washington will push temperatures below freezing in many lowland areas this weekend, with a chance of snow most likely on Sunday.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Unusually heavy rain and flooding are in the weekend forecast, with the worst hitting Sunday as an atypical atmospheric river sets up from due west and aims its warm plume at western Washington.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that phenomenon means the rain total by the end of this weekend could be 5-10 inches over the lower slopes of the central Cascade Mountains.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Batten down the hatches and keep your rain gear handy. A Pacific cyclone is headed toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While the highest winds will likely hit north of the Canadian border, KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says people in western Washington will notice it too, especially toward the coast.

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

This week, an extraordinary offshore storm produced waves in the Northwest that were 30 feet tall and higher in some places places. One even swept a man out to sea near Lincoln City, Oregon, on Thursday.

But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that event is over, and we can expect more run-of-the-mill winter weather in the days to come.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It’s been a wet and blustery week in Western Washington. That’s typical weather for this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, but KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this weekend will be fairly dry. With lots of fresh snow in the mountains, conditions are good for winter sports enthusiasts, especially on Sunday.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Rain and cloudy skies have returned to much of the Puget Sound region. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says Western Washington can expect more of this showery, gray weather over the next few days. But that’s in contrast to what has actually been a much sunnier winter than usual in the northwest.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

If you’ve ever hiked to the top of a mountain and found yourself shedding layers of clothing because of increasing warmth, you’ve experienced a temperature inversion. They’re strongest in winter and can come with some unpleasant side effects, such as the freezing fog and declining air quality the greater Puget Sound region recently experienced in mid-December. Temperatures in the lowlands were near freezing at the time, but hit 55 degrees at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics.

courtesy Cliff Mass

Precipitation and warmer temperatures have returned to the northwest. Light rain was falling all around the region Friday morning as fresher air moved in after a week in which a substantial ridge of high pressure had dominated and trapped in smoke all the way from the California wildfires.  Also gone were the freezing fog and black ice.  

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this mild pattern will continue this weekend and into mid-week.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A strong ridge of high pressure has brought a string of sunny days to the Puget Sound, as well as patches of morning fog that is often accompanied by black ice. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says he expects that pattern to stick around for quite a while.  

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