The good news is that air quality has improved dramatically, and we no longer have to worry about breathing in smoke from wildfires. The bad news is that the clouds and showers moving in with a rapid cooldown this weekend are just the beginning of what will likely be several months of cooler fall weather.
“Summer is over,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.
He says an onshore push of marine air moved in Thursday and started changing things up.
“The smoke has been pushed away. Way cooler air is over us now,” said Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.
He predicts Friday’s temps will reach the low 70s at the most, because of clouds and a weak weather front moving in, marking a big contrast to Thursday’s high of 85 at Sea-Tac airport outside Seattle.
“Much, much cooler,” he said of Friday's temps. He also predicted a good chance of showers sometime after 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. coming through the Puget Sound area.
“So, a definite knock-down,” Mass said.
Get Outside Saturday
He says Saturday will likely be the best day of the weekend, despite clouds and the likelihood of showers in the morning and temps only reaching the upper 60s.
“It won’t be a bad day, but it’s not going to be warm,” he said.
Mass says Sunday will start out relatively nice, but then another front will move in later in the day.
“So rain – probably by dinnertime or certainly by the evening,” Mass said.
Cool And Showery Phase Starts Late Sunday
Mass says those Sunday night showers are just the beginning.
“I hate to tell you. Next week a major upper level trough is going to come right down into us, parking over the region," he said.
"Next week is going to be cool, showery. We’re talking about temperatures only getting into the mid-60s and showers on and off," he said.
Mass says this is the onset of the big seasonal shift.
“The sun is weakening rapidly. I suspect we’ve seen the end of really warm temperatures, the smoke and all the summertime stuff,” he said. “We’re going into the transition into fall.”
To hear the full conversation, including Cliff’s take on Hurricane Florence and how U.S. hurricane forecast models are still behind the European ones, you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post.
Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:02 a.m. Friday, right after BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KNKX 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 podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, via iTunes or Google Play