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Mass: This Summer, One Of Hottest On Record, Is What Global Warming Feels Like

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
Ainsley MacDonald, right, and Will Walker, 10, try to leap above incoming waves as Calister MacDonald, left, 3, looks on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at a beach on the Puget Sound in Mukilteo, Washington.

Keep the sunscreen and swim trunks handy. The clouds are melting away and the forecast predicts another hotter-than-normal weekend with temperatures above the mid-70s that are typical for this time of year.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and could soon chart the hottest one in Northwest history.

'We Could End Up, Potentially, With Warmest Summer On Record’

“If we keep this track up, of these kind of above-normal temperatures, we could end up, potentially, with the warmest summer on record,” Mass said. “I’m not guaranteeing it, but we’ve been warm enough in August that it is quite possible.”

Mass says a number of weather stations charted their second, third or fourth warmest July on record, and that’s before the heat cranked up in August.

“We have been running, on many days, five to 10 degrees above normal,” Mass said, adding he thinks it’s virtually certain we’re going to end up in one of the top five warmest summers on record.

“This is a record that goes back at many stations 50 years, others 80 years. So it’s a pretty big record,” Mass said.

Mass says the long-range models provided by the Climate Prediction Center and the National Weather Service suggest we will remain above-normal for the next eight days.

Mass: This Is What Global Warming Feels Like

Mass says temperatures have been running 3 to 4 degrees above normal all this summer.

“This summer you are getting an idea of the conditions you or your children will experience in approximately 2050,” according to Mass.

Following the median global warming scenario, says Mass, this is like advancing 30 to 50 years into the future.

“It’s really interesting. People talk about global warming, but we’re experiencing it,” Mass said.


The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU 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 a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to