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Weekend Forecast: Unseasonably Warm Days With Some Sun, Too

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Tim Durkan
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Friday’s clouds and sprinkles are moving out, and sunshine and more warmth are coming in this weekend.

And you can expect the pattern of unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having in western Washington to intensify over the next week, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"The rain should back off,” Mass said.

High Pressure Locking in Warmth

Mass says there will still be plenty of clouds through Saturday morning, but “those should evaporate out around lunchtime.”  

Expect sun and temperatures getting up into the low to mid-50s on Saturday, making for "a pretty nice day," Mass said.

Come Sunday, we'll see even warmer than normal temperatures — "I expect mid-50s, plenty of sun,” Mass said.

The warm weather will stick around at least through Wednesday, and probably into Thursday.

"After that, the models disagree a bit,” Mass said, “but we’re going to be stuck in this sunny, warmer-than-normal pattern for a long time.”

Warmth Here Connected To Cold On East Coast

We're expecting warm weather at a time "the eastern United States is in sub-zero temperatures, down to the mid-Atlantic states," Mass said. "It’s amazing."

The high pressure system over the West Coast produces a trough of low pressure over the east, as Mass explained in a recent blog titled “Revenge of the Ridges.”

“So they’re breaking record after record for cold temperatures while we break the warm temperature records on this side of the continent,”  Mass said.

A Taste Of Future Norms

Mass and the National Weather Service attribute the current pattern mostly to natural variability, and not to global climate change resulting from human activities.

But Mass points out that the weather we're experiencing is a good preview of what it will be like by the end of this century.

“So this year, which is warmer than normal and about the same precipitation as normal, is very much like the typical year that you could expect in, let’s say, 2070” Mass said, adding that scientists are still debating the exact timing, so that estimate could be 2060 or even 2080.

“But we’re living in the future right now. This will be the normal a half-century into the future,” he said.

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A Note From Mass: The Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop

Interested in attending the big local weather workshop of the region? The Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop will be held in Seattle at the NOAA facility on Feb. 27 to Feb. 28. Everyone is invited and the majority of talks are accessible to laypeople. To attend, you have to register or they won't let you in the gate.  There will be a major session on the Oso landslide. There is a registration fee that covers refreshments and food, and special student pricing. If interested, check out the event website.

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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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