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Embrace Sunbreaks While You Can — Windy, Rainy Weekend And Wetter Days Ahead

Tim Durkan

Enjoy the sunbreaks while you can.  Heavy rain returns Friday night and we’ll return to a wetter, windier pattern, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’ll be basically dry, partly cloudy during the afternoon, you know, probably even some sun,” Mass said of Friday. “So, a really nice day.”

But that’s going to change rapidly, Mass says, as a warm front associated with a center of low pressure off the coast moves northward.

Rain Starting Friday Night

“We’re going to start raining sometime after dinner and it’ll be raining fairly hard overnight into Saturday, as the warm front pushes through. And that could be relatively heavy,” Mass said.

Mass says a major windstorm that had been on forecaster’s radar now looks like it won’t happen. There’s a low-pressure system developing off the California coast and initially, the models suggested that system was going to really rev up, which would have produced big gusts. But Mass says now it looks less threatening.

“The system is kind of splitting up a bit. It’s weakening as it comes northward and it looks like we’ll have some blustery winds on Saturday night,” Mass said. “But I don’t expect a major windstorm.”

Strong Winds Over Western Cascades

Mass says people on the western slopes of the Cascades will still need to batten down the hatches as winds there could gust up to 40 to 50 mph on Saturday.

“We’re talking about Enumclaw, Black Diamond, North Bend,” Mass said. “A very strong pressure gradient is going to develop over the Cascades and we expect easterly downslope winds to develop in that region.”

‘A Major Forecast Failure’

Mass says he’s less confident than usual in this forecast because of what he called “a major National Weather Service forecast failure.”

He says many of the weather satellite data have not come in to the numerical weather prediction center.

“So that’s going to have an unknown effect on the forecast skill.”

He says the data is not getting to the European center or other major countries as well.

“But at this point, it looks like we should not see a major windstorm over the western lowlands on Saturday night.”

Wetter Patterns Ahead

Expect a showery Sunday, followed by a series of systems, some of them strong, next week, says Mass.

“But I don’t have a lot of confidence in the forecast at this point, other than to say that next week will undoubtedly be wetter than normal. We’ll have storms coming through. There’ll be periods of wind,” he said.

He says it’s definitely not going to be like it was in early October.

“We’ve transitioned to a much wetter, windier pattern and we’re going to end up not only for the month, but probably into early November being much wetter than normal,” 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