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Slippery roads, but lots of sunshine ahead

Alex Vernon

If you were up early this morning, you might have found ice on your patio or steps, and maybe on the streets. The current cold weather pattern, caused by a ridge off the Pacific coast, means the black ice hazard is high, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The cold and dry weather will stay with us through the weekend, and at least until Wednesday, says Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Black ice is the number one weather hazard here, and there's now a website where Seattle-area residents can check the temps on the streets.

It's called "SnowWatch," run by the Seattle Department of Transportation. Mass says if you see temperatures at 32 or below on that map, then the danger of ice is serious.

On the other hand, if you're using the normal reported temperatures, from the weather forecast or even from the thermometer in your car, beware, he says. Those can be 4-5 degrees warmer than the road surface.

For more details, click the "listen" button above, and check out Mass' blog.


The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and repeats twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU’s Science and Health reporter Keith Seinfeld. 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.

Keith Seinfeld is a former KNKX/KPLU reporter who covered health, science and the environment over his 17 years with the station. He also served as assistant news director. Prior to KLPU, he was a staff reporter at The Seattle Times and The News Tribune in Tacoma and a freelance writer-producer. His work has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.