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Science
Natural Sciences

Weather With Cliff Mass

Updated 3 days ago

Science
Natural Sciences
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

32 Ratings
Average Ratings
26
3
2
0
1

God Speaking

By Burien guy - Nov 17 2017
Read more
That deep base rumbling voice. That genuine love of his subject. The knowledge is real. And there is the ego. You have to love this guy.

iTunes Ratings

32 Ratings
Average Ratings
26
3
2
0
1

God Speaking

By Burien guy - Nov 17 2017
Read more
That deep base rumbling voice. That genuine love of his subject. The knowledge is real. And there is the ego. You have to love this guy.

Listen to:

Cover image of Weather With Cliff Mass

Weather With Cliff Mass

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

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.

Morning clouds to part for weather that’s hopefully warm enough to enjoy Sound Breeze

Podcast cover
Read more
A push of marine air from the cold Pacific Ocean that came in Thursday night is bringing morning clouds to the greater Puget Sound region. These low clouds typically burn off by noon, though they can stick around longer. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass expects Friday and Saturday to provide sunny afternoons, with the clouds opening up to blue skies and temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s.

Aug 16 2019

6mins

Play

Jet stream shift means start of stormy season in the Northwest – and an end to ‘Blob Jr.’

Podcast cover
Read more
It’s been a dark and stormy week in the Pacific Northwest. Starting Wednesday, the region was pummeled with wind and wet stuff as series of weather fronts started pushing through the skies above us. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that’s going to continue all weekend and into next week, before it lightens up a bit. The contrast can be jarring, especially when you have the stunning crisp fall days of early October that we did this year, often with sunshine. But Mass says this is absolutely normal.

Oct 18 2019

5mins

Play

‘Wet-tember’ arrives: expect a wet fall, followed by a ‘neutral’ winter

Podcast cover
Read more
September is one of those months in the greater Puget Sound region that can be glorious, with sunny blue skies serving as a stunning backdrop for crisp autumn leaves and classic Northwest views of mountains and water. Not so much this year. It’s been cloudy and cool. And very wet.

Sep 20 2019

5mins

Play

Perfect combination of weather conditions produces especially spectacular fall colors

Podcast cover
Read more
This fall, the Puget Sound region has graced residents with an abundance of clear and crisp sunny days – classic fall weather. And the colors displayed on fall foliage have been exceptionally stunning, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Oct 25 2019

5mins

Play

A snowy start to fall in the western US and how that’s connected to record heat in the East

Podcast cover
Read more
Not long after we crossed the threshold into autumn last week, leaving the fall equinox behind and watching the days grow shorter, an extreme cold wave hit the West. Records were smashed all around the region. Montana was hit by blizzards and several feet of snow. And in Washington, some of the higher elevations saw almost that much. Spokane got its earliest snow ever.

Oct 04 2019

6mins

Play

One of the longest November dry spells in Northwest history – and why that also produces thick fog

Podcast cover
Read more
Normally early November is a wet and stormy time of year in the Northwest. Not this year. It has been generally dry and sunny over the past few weeks — dry enough to tie a record for lack of rain, assuming no precipitation falls on Friday. “The record for a period in November is 14 days. That happened in 2002. That’s a very long stretch of no rain,” says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “In fact, I think it’s the longest stretch of this particular year, even including the summer, of having no rain.”

Nov 08 2019

6mins

Play

Is that a ferry boat in the sky? How summer mirages play tricks on your eyes

Podcast cover
Read more
Most people have had that classic summer experience of driving along a warm road and seeing a shimmering patch ahead that looks like water. But when you get there, it’s gone. This is a trick of the atmosphere, caused by different densities of the air, associated with temperature. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says people ask him about mirages all the time. Among the “most famous" ones, he says, is that "water on the road" mirage — a result of bent light, as the layers of air act like a lens. The blue light of the sky gets bent by the atmospheric lens and projected onto the road, where, from a distance, it looks like water. “But your eyes are lying to you," Mass says. "Because that light actually started in the sky and was bent down and then up to your eyes." INFERIOR MIRAGES This kind of optical illusion — in which the light is bent downward, causing you to think something is lower than it actually is — is called an inferior mirage. These are common in summer, because the warmth on

Aug 23 2019

4mins

Play

20-year lightning storm unlikely to repeat, but more heavy rain is coming to the Northwest

Podcast cover
Read more
Lightning lit up skies around the Puget Sound on Thursday night, and another big rainstorm is on its way to Western Washington. But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says none of the incoming weather systems are likely to outshine the extraordinary display of lightning that hit the region last Saturday night.

Sep 13 2019

5mins

Play

Winds stoking California wildfires linked to cold air flowing through the Northwest

Podcast cover
Read more
People in the Puget Sound region have experienced chilly weather this week, especially overnight. Temperatures have dipped into the low 30s in some places, with cool and partly sunny weather most days. That's going to continue pretty consistently through the weekend. At the same time, furious winds have been stoking California's wildfires. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the cold here is directly connected to the Diablo and Santa Ana winds that are fueling infernos there.

Nov 01 2019

5mins

Play

Showery, warm Labor Day is ‘close to normal’ for the Puget Sound

Podcast cover
Read more
August is often thought of as the hottest time of the summer in the Pacific Northwest, with searing blue skies and sunshine – ideal for boating or heading to a shady park with a wading pool. That's especially true of the past two summers, when hotter-than-average temperatures dried out everything and boosted wildfires that spewed smoke into the region. So, the rapid cool down that started Thursday comes as a bit of a shock.

Aug 30 2019

5mins

Play

Snow returning to Washington’s mountain passes; major ski areas could open by Christmas

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After the driest November in 43 years, precipitation is finally returning to Washington. The North Cascades Highway closed Wednesday – its latest closure in over a decade. The state Department of Transportation shuts it down annually for safety, after snow fills the avalanche chutes that line the highway. About a foot of snow fell this week above 3500 feet.

Dec 13 2019

6mins

Play

Driest November in decades not a worry just yet, but could point to shift toward El Niño

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The dry, cool and sunny conditions that brought extraordinary fall color to the Northwest also have toppled a major record. Seattle charted its driest November in 43 years, with just 1.71 inches of rain – about 26 percent of normal. (Spokane was at 30 percent of normal, with .68). That’s the driest November since 1976 — a “startlingly dry” year that saw about half of last month’s precipitation, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass. But the latest dry weather isn’t cause for concern just yet, he stresses. “Never call a winter in mid-December,” Mass says. “I wouldn’t be concerned unless these conditions continue into February.” One key feature is common among the dryness then and now: high pressure over the eastern Pacific. Mass says that was in place 43 years ago, and it has been parked over us this year since November. The pressure forms a ridge aloft that keeps precipitation sparse and weakens weather systems as they come in. “We don’t tend to get the low-pressure systems that bring

Dec 06 2019

7mins

Play

‘Saildrones’ could revolutionize ocean weather data collection, improve forecasts

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The National Weather Service relies on a network of buoys to collect real-time data about ocean conditions. But they’re prone to malfunction and expensive to maintain. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass is working with a company that is offering a potential alternative. Oakland-based Saildrone has a fleet of autonomous sailboats that are loaded with high-tech equipment and can be deployed to collect highly accurate weather and upper-ocean observations.

Nov 29 2019

4mins

Play

Holiday Special: ‘Bomb cyclone’ hits Oregon, causes high winds in Washington, too

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Holiday travelers had lots to contend with ahead of Thanksgiving, as an unusual storm known as a "bomb cyclone" hit Southwest Oregon and California Tuesday, reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour in places. Its effects were felt in Washington on Wednesday.

Nov 27 2019

5mins

Play

Why snow in the mountains rarely reaches lowlands west of the Cascade Crest

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Snow levels are dropping over the Cascade mountains. Weather officials are warning that anyone planning to cross the passes before Thanksgiving should be aware of the potential for hazardous conditions. As much as a foot is expected to pile up by Wednesday above 3,500 feet, as the temperature drops. And it will be cold enough all around the Northwest to store your extra food outdoors if the fridge is overflowing, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass. But don’t expect to build a snowman. Only a few snow flurries are expected in the lowlands on the west side.

Nov 22 2019

5mins

Play

Despite weekend rain, November shaping up to be very dry — with no mountain snow

Podcast cover
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It was just over a month ago that an early snow storm hit the Cascade Mountains, stoking the hopes and dreams of Northwest skiers for an above average season. “October 8-9 th , we had enough snow that it was messing up travel across the passes,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “Now unfortunately most of that has melted. And we’ve gone into a very dry pattern.” He points to the record dry spell that ended last week, in which the region tied a record with 14 consecutive days of no precipitation in early November. “And right now, November is way below normal — we’re almost two and a half inches below normal at Sea-Tac, so it’s been a very dry period. And our latest computer simulations suggest that November as a whole will be dry,” Mass said. He says the precipitation we get over the weekend and into next week won’t make much of a dent in that trend. “None of it is going to be that heavy. It looks like we’re going

Nov 15 2019

5mins

Play

One of the longest November dry spells in Northwest history – and why that also produces thick fog

Podcast cover
Read more
Normally early November is a wet and stormy time of year in the Northwest. Not this year. It has been generally dry and sunny over the past few weeks — dry enough to tie a record for lack of rain, assuming no precipitation falls on Friday. “The record for a period in November is 14 days. That happened in 2002. That’s a very long stretch of no rain,” says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “In fact, I think it’s the longest stretch of this particular year, even including the summer, of having no rain.”

Nov 08 2019

6mins

Play

Winds stoking California wildfires linked to cold air flowing through the Northwest

Podcast cover
Read more
People in the Puget Sound region have experienced chilly weather this week, especially overnight. Temperatures have dipped into the low 30s in some places, with cool and partly sunny weather most days. That's going to continue pretty consistently through the weekend. At the same time, furious winds have been stoking California's wildfires. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says the cold here is directly connected to the Diablo and Santa Ana winds that are fueling infernos there.

Nov 01 2019

5mins

Play

Perfect combination of weather conditions produces especially spectacular fall colors

Podcast cover
Read more
This fall, the Puget Sound region has graced residents with an abundance of clear and crisp sunny days – classic fall weather. And the colors displayed on fall foliage have been exceptionally stunning, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Oct 25 2019

5mins

Play

Jet stream shift means start of stormy season in the Northwest – and an end to ‘Blob Jr.’

Podcast cover
Read more
It’s been a dark and stormy week in the Pacific Northwest. Starting Wednesday, the region was pummeled with wind and wet stuff as series of weather fronts started pushing through the skies above us. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that’s going to continue all weekend and into next week, before it lightens up a bit. The contrast can be jarring, especially when you have the stunning crisp fall days of early October that we did this year, often with sunshine. But Mass says this is absolutely normal.

Oct 18 2019

5mins

Play

Forecast skill has limits for predicting winter, but it's saving lives in Northern California

Podcast cover
Read more
KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s going to get a bit warmer over the weekend and he’s confident that “real rain” won’t set in until Tuesday evening. But it’s harder to answer the question many people in Washington are wondering about right now: with record early snowfall in our passes and the unseasonably cold start to fall, should we expect a cold, snowy winter too?

Oct 11 2019

7mins

Play

A snowy start to fall in the western US and how that’s connected to record heat in the East

Podcast cover
Read more
Not long after we crossed the threshold into autumn last week, leaving the fall equinox behind and watching the days grow shorter, an extreme cold wave hit the West. Records were smashed all around the region. Montana was hit by blizzards and several feet of snow. And in Washington, some of the higher elevations saw almost that much. Spokane got its earliest snow ever.

Oct 04 2019

6mins

Play

Get out your sweaters: Record low temps expected as early Arctic blast hits Washington

Podcast cover
Read more
Fall arrived in the northwest with a September that has been wetter than normal. Now, unusually early cold is expected to hit the region as an early blast of Arctic air heads our way this weekend. It’s expected to bring record low temperatures to parts of the state and snow east of the Cascade mountains. But as it gets colder, the west side will dry out.

Sep 27 2019

5mins

Play

‘Wet-tember’ arrives: expect a wet fall, followed by a ‘neutral’ winter

Podcast cover
Read more
September is one of those months in the greater Puget Sound region that can be glorious, with sunny blue skies serving as a stunning backdrop for crisp autumn leaves and classic Northwest views of mountains and water. Not so much this year. It’s been cloudy and cool. And very wet.

Sep 20 2019

5mins

Play

20-year lightning storm unlikely to repeat, but more heavy rain is coming to the Northwest

Podcast cover
Read more
Lightning lit up skies around the Puget Sound on Thursday night, and another big rainstorm is on its way to Western Washington. But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says none of the incoming weather systems are likely to outshine the extraordinary display of lightning that hit the region last Saturday night.

Sep 13 2019

5mins

Play

‘Blob Jr.’ might not last, but the marine heat wave has made for hotter nights

Podcast cover
Read more
Despite a summer that has been relatively cool overall, a warm area of surface water has formed off the West Coast. It’s about 3-5 degrees warmer than normal for the eastern Pacific Ocean and covers about 6.5 million square kilometers, from Alaska to Hawaii to California. It has put federal fisheries and marine scientists on alert.

Sep 06 2019

6mins

Play

Showery, warm Labor Day is ‘close to normal’ for the Puget Sound

Podcast cover
Read more
August is often thought of as the hottest time of the summer in the Pacific Northwest, with searing blue skies and sunshine – ideal for boating or heading to a shady park with a wading pool. That's especially true of the past two summers, when hotter-than-average temperatures dried out everything and boosted wildfires that spewed smoke into the region. So, the rapid cool down that started Thursday comes as a bit of a shock.

Aug 30 2019

5mins

Play

Is that a ferry boat in the sky? How summer mirages play tricks on your eyes

Podcast cover
Read more
Most people have had that classic summer experience of driving along a warm road and seeing a shimmering patch ahead that looks like water. But when you get there, it’s gone. This is a trick of the atmosphere, caused by different densities of the air, associated with temperature. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says people ask him about mirages all the time. Among the “most famous" ones, he says, is that "water on the road" mirage — a result of bent light, as the layers of air act like a lens. The blue light of the sky gets bent by the atmospheric lens and projected onto the road, where, from a distance, it looks like water. “But your eyes are lying to you," Mass says. "Because that light actually started in the sky and was bent down and then up to your eyes." INFERIOR MIRAGES This kind of optical illusion — in which the light is bent downward, causing you to think something is lower than it actually is — is called an inferior mirage. These are common in summer, because the warmth on

Aug 23 2019

4mins

Play

Morning clouds to part for weather that’s hopefully warm enough to enjoy Sound Breeze

Podcast cover
Read more
A push of marine air from the cold Pacific Ocean that came in Thursday night is bringing morning clouds to the greater Puget Sound region. These low clouds typically burn off by noon, though they can stick around longer. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass expects Friday and Saturday to provide sunny afternoons, with the clouds opening up to blue skies and temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s.

Aug 16 2019

6mins

Play

Gloomy weather moves in — and a long-term forecast shows much of the same ahead

Podcast cover
Read more
Low clouds have lingered over much of the Puget Sound region in recent days, the latest evidence that this summer stands in stark contrast to the hot, smoky, straw-hat weather of the past two years. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says Friday temperatures will only get into the lower 70s. And he says the weekend will be dominated by more of those lower temps, thanks to the presence of an upper level trough.

Aug 09 2019

5mins

Play