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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:

  •         Cumulus clouds, which are big, puffy and dramatic
  •         Short but intense rainstorms, with an occasional thunderstorm

But it seems we’ve lucked out this year. Yes, we’ve heard this spring will be cooler than usual, but Mass says it also looks drier than normal, at least for much of April. 
“The high pressure in the east Pacific will be stronger than normal … and that tends to make us cooler than normal, but it also makes us drier than normal,” says Mass.

“So it looks like this spring may not be quite as bad as the last two, which were both cooler and wetter than normal.” 


Do you have a weather question? Cliff Mass and Keith Seinfeld occasionally answer reader questions on the air. Share yours here.

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.