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Sunny Weekend, But Nothing As Warm As Thursday’s Record Temps

Tim Durkan
Dynamic weather in Seattle.

Another unusually warm weekend is in store, but KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s not one for the history books.

“It’s not going to be as hot as we’ve had,” he said.

That’s in contrast to Thursday, when the mercury hit 71 degrees in Seattle, an all-time record high for that day.

“A few other places broke records – it was an amazing day,” Mass said.

“Remember, this time of the year, the high should be around 55 – so [71] is way above normal.”

Cloudy Friday, Rainy Night

Friday, he says a front is coming in from offshore, which will make for partly cloudy weather.

“The clouds will thicken up during the day, it’ll be dry most of today, but by probably 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., the rain is going to start.”

He says there will be a 10th of an inch of rain or so Friday evening.

Damp Weekend For Seattle And Points North

Saturday, residual clouds on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains will make for partly cloudy skies in Seattle with temperatures getting up to “maybe 60 – something like that,” Mass said.

So, “not a bad day, but worse in the mountains, guaranteed.” (Subtext: don’t go hiking unless you have really good rain gear and don’t mind getting damp.)

Sunday, another weather system is approaching. Mass says it will keep the rain north of Seattle.

“It will be worse in the North Cascades and the Olympics,” he said. ”If you go south, south of Olympia to Portland, it’ll actually be dry and get fairly warm.”

What’s Behind The Recent Record Temps?

An upper-level “wave train” says Mass. You can listen to our chat to hear his explanation (weather 101-style …) or check out his recent blog on the topic.

He explains clearly why this is not due to “global warming” but rather "natural variability" – and the dynamics behind the unusual weather of the  past two winters.


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