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. 

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

If the cool and cloudy weather that’s been dominating in the Puget Sound region this week has got you down, hang in there. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the weekend forecast is “improving” and there will be a fair amount of sun poking through, especially on Sunday.

David Siu / flickr via Compfight

An abundance of crisp blue skies have ushered in a relatively dry start to fall this year in the Pacific Northwest, providing a stunning backdrop as the leaves begin to turn. Some sunnier afternoons allowed folks to keep wearing their shorts and sandals. But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says there are some sure signs of autumn.

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Seattle saw the mercury hit 86 degrees on Thursday, breaking another daily heat record as people all over the Puget Sound region donned their shorts and sandals and experienced one last taste of summer-like weather.

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Residents of the greater Puget Sound region have already been feeling the transition to fall with a shift down to lower temps and more clouds last week. But Friday marks the official end of summer, with the autumnal equinox on the calendar.

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Fall doesn't technically start until Sept. 21, but it's arriving early this year as a front moves into the region this weekend. KNKX weather expert Cliff mass says it'll bring cooler temperatures and rain. 

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The eerie tinge to the air that deposited showers of ash in many areas of the Puget Sound region Tuesday seems to be subsiding. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the worst of the smoky skies is over, pushed out by the approach of an upper level trough and cooler air moving in from the ocean.

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It’s been a hot summer in the Pacific Northwest, and this Labor Day weekend won’t change that trend at all.

“It's going to be warm and dry,” says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures are in the forecast all over the Puget Sound region. Once again, the mantra is “no rain.” And if you’ve been feeling like this has been a very dry summer – you’re right.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says he’s sure we’ll at least tie the record for the driest summer in Seattle history, going all the way back to 1914.

Art James / Courtesy Art James

Cloudy weather and milder temperatures have come back to the Puget Sound region recently.  We’ll have partly cloudy skies, no rain and temperatures in the mid-70s this weekend.

But come Monday, skies will clear over most of the region, just in time for the total eclipse.

Wade Harris / Courtesy of Wade Harris

Seattle's weather is about to revert to its more normal, pleasantly mild and occasionally moist summer pattern.

Rain in the weekend forecast should wash out the gritty smoke from British Columbia's wildfires that has plagued the region for more than a week now. The precipitation will also put an end to the long dry spell the city has experienced.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for western Washington and Oregon Wednesday and said the highs in Seattle on Thursday could hit 95 (35 Celsius) while Portland could reach 105 (40.5 Celsius).
Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle’s above-normal temperatures have been tempered somewhat by a grimy layer of smoke from British Columbia’s wildfires that moved in Tuesday. The influx has made air quality in and around the Emerald City worse than Beijing’s.

Even as the air cools a bit over the weekend, the temperatures will stay far above normal, with the haze dissipating only somewhat and quite slowly, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Erin Hennessey / KNKX

A small storm of drizzle spoiled Seattle’s chances to break what KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass viewed as a significant record.

Thursday morning’s precipitation was just enough to be considered a "trace" of rain and cancel the chance for a rain-free July. But there is still a chance to continue a dry-day streak.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Drizzle and light showers fell in a few places this week, especially in the south end of the Puget Sound region. But for most of the region, including Seattle, rain has been missing for more than a month.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says there’s a good chance the emerald city will break a record with this dry spell.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be plenty of sunshine and opportunities for enjoying the outdoors this weekend, especially in and around Seattle. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the city "is known to have the best summer in the United States."

We'll have highs in the upper 70s for Friday and Saturday for the whole region, with no precipitation and hardly any clouds.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

If you have been enjoying the warm sunny skies of Seattle lately, you’re not alone. So many of us revel in the long stretches of dry weather that are so favorable for outdoor activities.

This weekend will offer more of that wonderful weather, with just a few morning clouds that should burn off in the afternoons.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

“The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle” — so goes the corny Perry Como TV tune from the late '60s. But it’s still true nearly 50 years on. The weekend forecast includes more of that great weather – only sullied by a few clouds coming in from the ocean over the weekend. And the blue skies will be back in time for July 4th festivities.  

He says Friday’s weather will be “perfect – sunny, absolutely dry, highs in the lower 80s. So, it’s going to be the warmest day of the weekend – so, really wonderful.”

Wade Harris / Courtesy of Wade Harris

If you like heat, this is the weekend for you in the Pacific Northwest. Just in time for the official start of summer, temperatures are about to zoom all the way up to near 90 degrees.

“And I think some people will see record temperatures this weekend,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, who was quick to clarify that these would only be for a single day in question, which are "not such a big deal. “

Pamela Sampel / Courtesy Pamela Sampel

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.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Keep those layers handy and also a rain poncho or parka if you’re doing anything outdoors this weekend. It’s typical June weather in the Northwest, which had a nice stretch of beautiful weather lately, but has now entered a period of mixed weather that some people like to call "Juneuary."

The temperatures have dropped and there are lots of clouds around. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this is typical for the time of year we’re in.

Friday: Mixed And Cool

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Keep those layers and light parkas handy. The weather this weekend in the Pacific Northwest offers a normal mix of cloudy skies, drizzle and temperatures ranging from early morning lows in the 50s to highs as warm as mid 70s next week.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says there was a weak cold front coming in off the coast, cooling things down early Friday.

Wade Harris / Courtesy of Wade Harris

Get out your sunscreen, shades and maybe power up a grill or three. The weather for Memorial Day weekend in Western Washington will be extremely pleasant for most people.

“Warm again, temperatures getting up into the 80s before the weekend is over,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Get ready for temps in the 80s next week. That’s what KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says people in the Pacific Northwest can look forward to on Tuesday.

First, we have to get though more of the lovely cloudy weather that has been decorating the views in Cascadia.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Any sunshine seen early Friday was probably just a tantalizing taste of what won’t be the pattern for at least a week here in the Pacific Northwest, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We have a series of showers that are coming through [Friday morning],” said Mass who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

The lightning storm that hit the Seattle area Thursday afternoon and evening is over now, but it’s one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The thunderclaps and light show electrified the skies and brought intense wind to the area.

About 14,000 people were without power Friday morning. But that wasn’t the amazing part to KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

The extraordinarily wet weather pattern we have seen so far this year is about to get a bit better. But first, people in the greater Seattle area have to get through one more rain event. That’s according to KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

“This has been the wettest winter season in Seattle history and that’s going back to 1895,” said Mass. That’s in terms of measuring the so-called “water year,” which is defined as the total precipitation from October to April.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

If you’ve been feeling like you can’t stand the rain lately, get outside on Friday. Rain is coming in on Saturday afternoon and it only gets wetter from there.  

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass is expecting “the mother of all atmospheric rivers” to hit southern Washington and Oregon pretty hard early next week. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

If the cold, rainy weather has been getting you down, you’re not alone. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this weekend, Seattle-area people will get a respite from all that.

“It’s going to be perfect for Easter egg hunting. It will be perfect for anything on Sunday;  Sunday’s going to be absolutely wonderful,” Mass said.

But he says people here will first have to get through a couple days of transition.

On Friday, cold and unstable air was over the region again, said Mass, who is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Courtesy of Cliff Mass Weather Blog

An unusually strong April storm is headed for the Pacific Northwest. A high wind advisory is in effect from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, with gusts of up to 60 mph expected in places, especially on the coast.

“This is probably the strongest April storm in the last half-century. So it’s that unusual,“ Mass said Friday morning as the storm was approaching.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

A tiny twister appeared in the town of Monroe this week — nothing major, but enough to grab people’s attention. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s not unheard of around here. Property damage to a few RVs was the extent of the unfortunate event.

“We do get tornadoes around here occasionally, but it’s pretty infrequent,” Mass said.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass is planning to get out into the garden this weekend. He says there should be enough sunshine, intermittently on Saturday, and also Sunday morning. And he says it will be warm enough for sure.

So if you’re outside, be prepared for wet, but don’t worry about getting too cold. The spring equinox has passed and that means the days are getting longer and the sun is stronger. So temperatures will be mild.

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