Weather with Cliff Mass

Weather with Cliff Mass
12:08 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Mass: Deadly conditions of Yarnell Hill fire were 'foreseeable'

An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfires threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., Monday, July 1, 2013.
Associated Press

Weather plays a central role in most wildland fires, and we got a grim reminder of that earlier this week with the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona that took the lives of 19 firefighters. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass dug into the meteorological data surrounding that fire and came away disturbed. He says the conditions that caused that fire to blow up and reverse course, right on top of the firefighters, were quite predictable.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:32 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Ahead: Temps in the 90s, then a pleasant Fourth of July

Listen to Cliff Mass' weekend forecast for a heat wave plus an explanation of dew points and humidity, as well as the answer to a listener question on why the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington is the hottest place in the state.

Expect progressively warmer weather over the weekend and through Tuesday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says the heat wave hitting the western U.S. is heading our way. He expects highs around 90 on Monday and Tuesday from Seattle to Bellingham, and temperatures in the lower 90s in the south Sound.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:23 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Why summer solstice doesn't really mean sunshine, warmth in Seattle

This photo, titled "Raven and the Sun", is the work of Tim Durkan, a Seattle resident.

Listen to Cliff Mass' weather forecast for the weekend, plus an explanation of why weather experts say the summer solstice doesn't mark the true beginning of summer, meteorologically-speaking.

It may be summer solstice, but summer isn’t quite here yet, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington and KPLU's weather expert.

The reason, says Mass: “Summer solstice … is astronomical summer. It is not necessarily meteorological summer,” said Mass.”

“And in the profession, we all joke—and it’s not much of a joke—that summer starts here in Seattle on July 12. And in fact, there’s a lot of truth to that,” he said.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:17 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Look for a dose of sunshine this weekend, before gray returns

sea_trtle Flickr

Listen to Cliff Mass' weekend forecast plus an explanation of how Mt. Rainier makes its own weather

Expect the clouds to burn off later today, but you'll have to wait until Saturday for the really nice weather, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington and KPLU's weekly weather expert.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:16 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Typical June weekend? Clouds, burning off late in the day

lrargerich/Flickr

Cliff Mass explains the forecast -- and how newer radar is peering inside tornadoes

Don't expect to see much sunshine on Friday, as clouds and a weak front move through western Washington. In fact, brief episodes of drizzle are possible.

But, the sun could peak through at the end of the day, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. And that reflects a typical June pattern, he says.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Glimpses of sunshine this weekend, then chance of 80 next week

If the clouds and showers seem dreary, fear not: warm and sunny days lie ahead, says weather expert Cliff Mass.

Friday will start off with more of the same: “A lot of low clouds, but those will be burning off by mid-day,” says Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

By Friday afternoon, temperatures will near 70, says Mass.

“But unfortunately, a weak weather system is approaching us,” says Mass, adding the system will likely arrive Saturday afternoon.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:21 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Mass: Some rain, some sun this Memorial Day weekend

Rain showers will be coming and going this weekend. That's the big picture, but Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, says the weekend won’t be a total washout.

“Memorial Day weekend is generally not the best,” he says. “We have a really nice period sometime in the early to mid-May most years, and we’ve had it.”

Now, Mass says, we’re starting to see the infamous “June gloom syndrome,” which he says involves “a lot of low clouds and sprinkles.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:29 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Mass: Half-and-half weekend, then not so pretty next week

The weekly weather discussion.

If you liked the light rain falling this morning, you'll get a bit more on Saturday, and possibly Sunday morning, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

On the other hand, if you're looking for some good outdoor times, Mass says we should dry out Sunday afternoon.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:24 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Mass: Mother Nature to spoil outdoor Mother's Day plans

Justin Steyer

Listen to Cliff Mass' weather discussion

All you need is a quick look out the window to see a gorgeous day in store for Friday, with none of those morning clouds we've been seeing all week.

The day is the last “almost perfectly sunny and warm” day we’ll see this weekend, says Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:31 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Mass: Welcome to a weekend that will get better and better!

Friday's glorious sunrise over Snohomish, Wash. is seen in this photo.
Jonathan Cooper

Extended interview with Cliff Mass

"We have an extraordinary weekend ahead," says KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass. "And In fact, it's probably not going to rain until at least next weekend as well."

Friday will warm up to lower 70s with “no precipitation anywhere,” says Mass, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington. “And it just cranks up over the weekend."

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:15 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Coming soon to Puget Sound area: 'Extraordinarily warm period'

orcmid Flickr

Sick of the dreary weather? Fear not—a big change is coming, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“The cold and rain is going to turn into warmth and sun pretty soon,” says Mass, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Cliff Mass investigates landslides, finds possible culprit

There's more rain in the forecast tonight and this weekend -- with some real downpours expected Saturday in the fabled "convergence zone" of south Everett.

The rain should arrive after 4pm today, for much of the Puget Sound region, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington (and KPLU's weekly weather expert).

Could that mean more landslides, like the ones that have derailed trains south of Everett, or pulled away a home on Whidbey Island?

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:45 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Cliff Mass: How video game graphics could help save lives

Patrick O'Banion salvages items from his devastated home in Joplin, Missouri on May 28, 2011.
Charlie Riedel Associated Press

What does a weather guy know about video games?

Cliff Mass has watched his kids play them plenty, and they gave him an idea that could help save lives.

“Some of these games have superb graphics. They have weather in them, even—storms and windstorms, and rain, and damage from storms,” says Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Those sophisticated graphics gave him a thought: What if we used them to simulate exactly what the forecast is predicting?

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:12 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Weekend forecast: Warm April showers to melt snowpack

Those showers that blew in on Thursday will keep blowing our way through Sunday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

“And that’s a big change,” he says. “The first real rain that we’ve had in a long time happened last night (Thursday), where a lot of people got about a half an inch. But it’s not the end."

And, because it's been warmer rain, the snowpack in the mountain passes is melting quickly, he says, losing about 20 inches.

Mass says another front will arrive late Friday.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:05 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Glorious weekend, then drier-than-normal spring

First, the good news: enjoy this weekend, which is shaping up to be wonderfully mild and full of sunshine with highs in the 60s across Western Washington.

After that, be ready for plenty of twists and turns. April is the month of frequent weather changes, says Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

The two hallmarks of April:

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