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Northwest Normal: Early Spring Temps And Warm, Wet Weekend Ahead

Keep your rain gear handy and catch some sunshine while you can. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says a weak front showing up on the weather radar will arrive in the greater Seattle area sometime after 4 p.m. Friday, putting an end to the sunny skies many of us have been experiencing for the past week.   

Friday Evening Rainshowers; Decent Saturday

“It’ll be raining at dinnertime,” says Mass.

But if you prefer sunnier skies, don’t worry.  Friday’s rainy spell will be short-lived, yielding to “a few residual showers” over Puget Sound Saturday morning . Mass predicts those will end by 10 or 11 a.m.

He says there’s also a possibility of snow showers in the mountains, also ending around lunchtime.  

“So, Saturday’s going to be a pretty decent day, [with] highs in the lower 50s here in the lowlands,” Mass said.

Rainy Sunday

A stronger front approaches on Sunday, bringing in a big wave of the wet stuff aloft.

“It’ll be raining most of the day, with heavier precipitation,” Mass said. “[The] freezing level comes up, so I am afraid there could be some rain in the passes, unfortunately.”

Rain Resumes Next Week

Mass predicts the warm, wet weather will continue as the work week resumes

“We have just a series of systems coming through, so it’s going to be a relatively wet week,” he says. “Not raining continuously, but with a number of storms coming through.”

Typical Northwest Spring

While most calendars identify the start of spring with the equinox in March, Mass says meteorological spring is typically several weeks sooner here.

“I always say Feb. 25 – that’s the start of spring in Seattle,” Mass says. “And it’s really not that wrong.”

After Feb. 25, Mass says the chances of "getting major floods, snow storms, wind storms all goes down very, very rapidly,” he says.

That probably bodes well for the blossoms many folks are already seeing in their yards or parks near them. Mass says this is normal for the Northwest.

“We have this long spring period” with mellower weather “from mid to end of February all the way into July,” Mass says. He says summer doesn’t commence in earnest till about July 13.

So we have four and a half months, basically, of spring.

“And looking outside, you’ve got to say it’s spring," Mass says. "The flowers are coming up; the temperatures are much warmer; the grass is growing. Spring is here.”

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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 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 bpailthorp@knkx.org.