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Rain In The Forecast For This Weekend, And Lots Of It

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With precipitation dominating the forecast in most of the region, what will happen to snow in our mountains?

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says it’s going to be a wet weekend.

“There will be plenty of rain,” he said.

Friday will be cloudy, with temps getting up into the lower 40s.

“Nothing too exciting,” he says. “But then the fun stuff starts.”

A much stronger front will come in on Saturday morning, bringing moderate to heavy rain in western Washington and substantial snow in the mountains, especially above about 4,000 feet.

“So, if you’re up in the higher passes, they could clearly get 6-12 inches of snow – no problem –and even more if you go to the volcanic peaks, like Rainier and Baker.”

Saturday and Sunday will be much the same pattern.

“Two very vigorous systems, there will be blustery winds with the systems, because there will large differences in pressure, or pressure gradients. And then the good news is Monday.”

That’s when a ridge of high pressure develops that has “no precipitation, sunny skies; it’s a perfect time to enjoy all the snow we have  in the mountains.”

“… so if you’re going to do anything outside – skiing or any other outdoor activity – Monday is the day to do it.” 

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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