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Seattle's boring winter gets zesty this weekend


It's nothing like the major storms across the midwest and eastern U.S., but western Washington is tasting a little bit of winter, finally.

"After one of the most boring winters that I can ever remember, we are going to be getting heavy rain, good snow. We'll be getting some winds gusting up to 30 to 50 miles per hour, and big waves along the coast," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

That snow is relegated to the mountains, however, keeping the urban lowlands snow-less so far this winter. Some higher elevations, such as the Mt. Baker ski area, could get more than two feet of fresh snow on Friday, says Mass.


All of that should be a frequent occurrence during winter. But this has been an extremely boring winter, says Mass. In fact, he and some weather forecasting buddies created an informal "Winter Excitement Index" for Seattle and discovered this year is tied with 1963-64 for the most boring on record.

For Mass' complete weekend analysis, including why the Stevens Pass corridor will likely see much more snow than Snoqualmie Pass, click the "listen" button above.

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 weekly podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” interviews.

Keith Seinfeld has been KPLU’s Health & Science Reporter since 2001, and prior to that covered the Environment beat. He’s been 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.
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