Weather with Cliff Mass
10:10 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Mass: Worst Is Over With Snow; Don't Count On White Christmas

Most of the snow fell overnight while western Washington slept, and "the worst is over," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. The metropolitan area of Seattle saw ¾-inch to 3 inches of snow while areas north of the city saw more.

“But for most people, they’ve seen the bulk of what they’re going to get," said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

A Warmer Weekend

This weekend, the weather will warm up and the skies will turn partly cloudy, said Mass.

“You’ll notice it,” he said.

Come Sunday, another front will move in, bringing back rain.

“It will probably be cloudy almost the whole day, and temperatures [will rise] up into the low 40s,” said Mass.

Skiers Can Rejoice—Except At Snoqualmie

Ski areas are faring better, now with about a foot of new snow at most of them.

“It really refreshed things up in the mountains,” said Mass. “Stevens and Crystal, and Baker are going to have much better conditions.”

But it’s a different story at Snoqualmie, where snow has been scarce.

“The big question is whether they’ll have enough snow for Snoqualmie to open [during the holidays]," Mass said. “Because if they don’t get enough from this event, and what happens on Sunday — that’s it,” Mass said.

Smooth Air Travel

Air travel from the region should run smoothly during the next few days, Mass says, but those headed east might have more to contend with.

“If we have a ridge [of high pressure] over us, then the eastern part of the country tends to have a trough, so that’ll probably imply that the weather’s going to go downhill if you fly to the eastern side of the U.S.,” he said.

Expect A White Gray Christmas

Don’t expect a white Christmas either, says Mass. There’s not a lot of precipitation out there, and temperatures are heading upward.

“It certainly looks like it’s going to be dry for most people on Christmas Day,” Mass said.

Snow Resources

Snowwatch: Latest forecasts from the Weather Service for the Seattle area

Snoqualmie Pass Report

Stevens Pass Report

Weather with Cliff Mass

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The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU 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 a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.