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Spring Has Sprung: Great Time For Cloudgazing

Stephanie Sinclair
Excellent weather for cloudgazing this weekend.

Spring is officially here.

The vernal equinox means that days and nights are of equal length. From here on out, the days will get longer. It’s also a great season for cloudgazing, which KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass knows a lot about.

This weekend will bring plenty of opportunities for admiring all kinds of clouds.

“Clouds like altostratus and altocumulus that will be thickening in,” Mass said. “Another cloud that’s very popular around here we’ll see tomorrow morning: the stratocumulus – low clouds that have these heaps and clear skies in between.”

You can check out his blog or the final chapter of his book about northwest weather for information about all of that.

Gray Friday

Friday will start cloudy and wet, but will get dryer as the day progresses.

“Not too bad in the beginning, we have a few clouds, but it’s going to be dry until later in the afternoon,” Mass said. "So, it’s going to rain tonight and it’s going to rain tomorrow morning as well.”

Transition Saturday

Saturday won’t be a great day for hiking, but good for looking out the window.

“There should be a break in the afternoon – later in the day on Saturday it may not be that bad,” he said.

And “the infamous Puget Sound convergence zone” will play with the mountain geography, Mass says.  

“It’s gonna form somewhere between Seattle and Everett," he said. "Expect showers in the North Sound area and unfortunately, showers in the mountains.”

Sunday: Best Day For Morning Walks, Outdoor Activities

Expect decent weather with dry conditions on Sunday morning, but during the afternoon Mass expects another front to come in.

“So it will cloud up during the early afternoon, precipitation during at least the mid-afternoon into the evening,” he said.

Next Week: Cloudy And Wet

Mass says it’s too much to time perfectly, but he sees a bunch of storms coming in early next week so Monday and Tuesday will be stormy.

“We’re going to be in a wetter pattern, a cloudier pattern, during the nest several days," he said.

Click on the listen button  above to hear the full weather show - or download it as a podcast.

Do you like cloudy days? Partly Cloudy or Partly sunny ones? And what kind of clouds are your favorites?


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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