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. 

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.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The sun broke through on Thursday this week, providing a much-needed respite from a string of wet days that has many Northwesterners longing for blue skies. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says he’s ready for more sun too. But he says this weekend will be a mixed bag.

“About 50-50,” Mass said is the ratio of rain to sun he expects in the days ahead. He says another frontal system was moving into the region Friday morning and a mini-atmospheric river aimed right at us.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

After a very windy morning that took out power for about 4,000 people around the Puget Sound region, the strong wind is now moving into British Columbia. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says most of the blowing is done in Washington, yielding to a showery Friday with much warmer temperatures.

Generally speaking, after the end of February, weather in the Pacific Northwest starts to feel spring-like, as temperatures rise and the likelihood of major storms drops off considerably. But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this weekend doesn’t really fit that pattern.  

“It’s going to be wet; it’s going to be cool and it looks like what we’ve seen the rest of the winter – it’s really startling,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.   

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Saturday should provide a respite from the bout of rain and snow showers that have been hanging around Western Washington this week.

Best to get out and enjoy it if you can, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass. On Sunday, the threat of snow showers returns, although temperatures will stay warm enough to keep much of the white stuff from sticking.

Get Outdoors On Saturday  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The plume of moisture that was aimed at Western Washington earlier this week, bringing huge amounts of rain to the Northwest, is now over California. That means a relatively mild President’s Day here, while the Golden State is getting doused.

“All the weather’s going to California,” said knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

Michael Probst / AP Photo

It's a cloudy, rainy Friday with lots of wind expected. But the weather system should clear by the start of the week and bring warmer temperatures and sunshine.

"Some places will get winds gusting to 30 to 40 miles per hour, maybe even a few higher gusts," knkx weather expert Cliff Mass said. "It's the breeziest it's been for a while. So keep that in mind if you're around trees or you're worried about your power going out."

Mass says Saturday will be a transition day with temperatures getting into the mid 40s and it'll be partly cloudy.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A burst of snow hit the Puget Sound region Thursday night, mixing with rain overnight in areas from Olympia to Bothell to Bellingham. An even bigger snow event could hit the region on Monday, but knkx weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s too soon to say whether that will in fact take place.

Mass says the air above the region has been cold enough for snow. So when a band of precipitation came up from the south Thursday night, it quickly morphed into the white stuff of winter.

Sunset as seen in Seattle on Jan 15, 2017.
Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Relatively mild temperatures and typical damp, showery weather will continue this weekend, providing more relief from the cold spell that lasted through last weekend. And next week will be drier while remaining warm, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

Wonderlane / Flickr Creative Commons

Clear skies and cold temps have been dominating the weather in Washington lately, and that pattern is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

“They go together; that’s the bargain, the meteorological deal,” says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass. “These really cold days and cold nights tend to be clear,” he says of the Northwest winter.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

The cold, dry air that’s been pouring into the Northwest and keeping temps well below freezing is coming to an end this weekend. But before the Arctic air completes its exit and things warm up all the way, there’s a possibility of snow in many areas, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We have to get through a bit of cold for the next day or two,” said Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Very Cold Friday Morning

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

With partly sunny skies and temperatures expected to get into the low 40s on Friday in western Washington, knkx weather expert Cliff Mass says enjoy it while you can.

“Wow – that’s going to seem warm in a few days,” he said of Friday’s temps. A major and sustained cold spell is expected to start over the weekend, with a good chance of snow showers in many parts of the region on New Year’s Eve.

Elaine Thompson, File / AP Photo

A white Christmas is a rarity in the greater Seattle area, but it’s not out of the question this year. A mix of snow and rain is expected in most places around the Puget Sound region. That could make for some treacherous driving conditions, says Ted Buehner with the Seattle office of the National Weather Service.

Snow Possible Friday

AP Photo / file

With high temperatures predicted to remain below freezing in many places around the Puget Sound region on Friday, this weekend is starting with some of the coldest weather people here have seen in quite a while, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.  

“This is the coldest air that we’ve had over our region probably in the last three years,” said Mass, who is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

The winter weather system that covered the Puget Sound region in several inches of snow overnight transitioned to rain as expected on Friday morning. More rain is in the forecast for the weekend, but then another tricky forecast is ahead for Monday, with the possibility of snow once again, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

Wet Weekend

Mass expects Friday's snow will melt by mid-day, especially on the roadways. And he says rain is in the cards for most of the weekend.

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

It’s time to get out your winter hats and gloves. The coldest temperatures of the year so far are in the forecast this weekend, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass. There’s also a good chance of lowland snow hitting the Puget Sound region starting Sunday night.

“We have a lot of certainty that we will have a very cold period, at least compared to anything we’ve had in the last year,” Mass said. “But the big question is snow.”

Mountain Snow Already Here

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

You hear about it every day on the TV news: “The radar” that delivers images of inclement weather systems as they approach. But what does it really show?

It’s a question about which knkx weather expert Cliff Mass gets tons of email. Clearly many people find this technology fascinating and its capabilities exciting. And the professor himself is not immune.

Elaine Thompson, File / AP Photo

Plenty of rain and lots of snow in the mountains could complicate holiday travel plans this Thanksgiving weekend. Pack your patience, especially if you are hitting local roads on Thursday, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

He said Wednesday was providing a bit of a break after a strong front went through Tuesday night, producing very wet and treacherous conditions on local roads.

Bill Devlin / Flickr via Compfight

Thursday’s weather offered a brief respite from the long spell of above-normal temperatures that have prevailed in Western Washington lately, but it won’t last. Expect another warmup and plenty of rain this weekend, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Get outdoors and enjoy the weather on Friday, if you can. It’s expected to be the last day of a remarkable, record-setting string of unseasonably warm days.

In fact, knkx weather expert Cliff Mass says we are experiencing the warmest early November period in the history of the Northwest. This month Seattle has experienced eight days with temperatures of 60 degrees or higher — an all-time record. And Seattle charted a record high of 70 degrees on Election Day.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Thursday and Friday brought exceptionally warm weather and sunny skies to many places around the Northwest. But they won’t last through the weekend, says knkx weather expert Cliff Mass.

On Thursday, temperatures reached the mid-60s throughout much of Puget Sound.

“Pretty warm,” Mass said of the abnormal pattern. “September temperatures, not November temperatures.”

He says Friday will be another very warm day.

“I expect Seattle to get to 63-65; lots of sun during the morning and maybe just some high clouds during the afternoon,” he said.

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