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Mostly Sunny Weekend Ahead, Warm & Hazy With No Rain To Clean Air After Fireworks

Tim Durkan
Tim Durkan Photography
Seattle's Space Needle is obscured by fireworks during the 2017 Independence Day show above Lake Union.

If you have been enjoying the warm sunny skies of Seattle lately, you’re not alone. So many of us revel in the long stretches of dry weather that are so favorable for outdoor activities.

This weekend will offer more of that wonderful weather, with just a few morning clouds that should burn off in the afternoons.

But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says if the heat feels like torture, take heart.

“It’s going downhill by the end of the weekend,” he said.

He says a marine push had already cooled things down a bit on Friday morning, with highs lingering around the mid- to upper 70s.

Dry Friday

“So, a really nice day – no precipitation,”   Mass said of the start to the weekend.

But the warm conditions will slowly start to deteriorate Saturday morning.

“Maybe a few low clouds getting into the Sound, but clouds along the coast, temperatures in the mid-70s,” he said

Clouds Moving In Gradually Saturday & Sunday

Then, he says, an upper level trough of low pressure is going to be pushing in on Sunday into Monday.

“So I expect Sunday to be a little bit of a step down, with temperatures only getting into lower-mid 70s, clouds along the coast; some getting into Puget Sound and burning off.

And then many more clouds on Monday. I think we’ll start off having clouds inundating the whole western Washington area. And temperatures dropping into the lower 70s.”

But Mass says he doesn’t expect these clouds to bring any real rain.

“This is not a strong trough. It should stay dry, but we’ll have a slow cooldown with increasing clouds, especially by the end of the weekend and on Monday,” Mass said.

No Rain To Wash Out Residual Smoke From Fireworks

Mass says there may be a bit of drizzle or sprinkles with the clouds on Monday and Tuesday, but he doesn’t expect much at all.

“It’s amazing, it hasn’t rained in two weeks. And I don’t see any rain coming up for a week or so,” Mass said.

“So, we are going to go probably at least a month with no precipitation – at least if the models are right. And then we’re going into the driest part of the year,” he said.

Drought Is Looming

“We’re going to be talking drought in a few weeks,” Mass predicts.

“It’s such a contrast to last winter,” he said, “where we had the wettest winter in the history of Seattle.”

The lack of rain also means increasingly dirty air, which can affect people in all kinds of ways. This is one more reason why Mass says he is making the case for a ban on personal fireworks displays in the region.

To hear an extended forecast, along with Mass's discussion of how the south end of Puget Sound has some of the worst air quality in the region after the 4th of July,  you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post. 

Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:02 a.m. Friday, right after BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KNKX 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 podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, via iTunesor Google Play.

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