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Unusual November Weekend On Tap With 'Amazingly Sunny Conditions,' Cold Temps

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Tim Durkan
/
A November sunset.

Keep your hats and scarves handy. The clear skies and cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing will continue through the middle of next week, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The weekend and Monday are all going to have colder than normal temperatures, especially in the morning, Mass says.

“The temperatures will be getting down into the 20s for many people. And in isolated valleys and places away from the water, teens are possible,” Mass said. “Upper teens have been observed in Olympia and Arlington and places like that."

Cold Temps And 'Amazingly Sunny Conditions'

Come mid-November, we usually expect "the cloudiest, rainiest, windiest period," says Mass, but this weekend, we'll see “amazingly sunny conditions” which will linger at least until the middle of next week.

“The only clouds on the horizon, it looks like, are possible sometime Wednesday and Thursday, as some weak systems move in,” Mass said.  He says there may be a little light rain and it could warm up a bit then, but we won't see anything major.

Winds Subsiding, But Not Done

Mass says the high winds that took out power for hundreds of thousands of people in western Washington aren’t over yet either.

“They’ve backed off quite a bit,” Mass said. “And that’s because the difference in pressure across the Cascades has dropped.”

He says the source of the winds is relatively unusual. They’ve been coming from the east.

“Normally here in the winter time, our strong winds are from the south and southwest, as fronts and lows come in off the Pacific, but that’s not what’s happened here,” Mass said.

Instead, high pressure inland has produced easterly flow – winds going from east to west. And with the flow coming down, there’s also an acceleration, Mass says, "because the pressure tends to be higher to the eastern side of the mountains, where it’s really cold."

“This is not like the situation we normally have as a low moves through and the winds pick up for six hours or 12 hours maybe and then they decline. These winds are not due to a low pressure system that’s moving through, but to this high pressure that’s been stuck in place for days,” Mass said.

The system looks weakened for Friday, says Mass, but it will likely rev up a bit on Saturday. Several vulnerable places might again see strong winds, including the Columbia River Gorge, areas north of Bellingham's Fraser River Gap and parts of the Cascade foothills near Enumclaw and Black Diamond. These areas are not protected by the higher elevations of the Cascade Mountain Range.

Bottom line: Bundle up, but the worst is over for now. More high winds are likely and there could be more power outages, as the easterlies continue for at least another two or three days.

“Probably a lot of the trees that were going to go have gone,” Mass said. “I don’t think the winds will be stronger than they’ve been."

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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 beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
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