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Loads Of Snow To Enjoy In The Mountains And Rain Off And On In The Lowlands

Another weekend dominated by mostly showery weather lies ahead, with the driest conditions on Saturday.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that would be a great day to head for the passes and enjoy some wintery fun. Stormy weather earlier this week dumped several feet of snow in the Cascades, allowing all the big ski areas to open.

“The depth of the snow is like 400 or 500 percent of normal,” Mass said. “Crystal Mountain, Baker, Stevens, they’re all open now – and with enough snow to have a pretty good time up there.”

Mass says Friday will be showery, but not too wet in the lowlands.

“There’s some moist air coming in, there’s a few showers. But here in the Puget Sound, we’re kind of protected by the Olympics, we’re in the rain shadow of the Olympics, so not much rain here in Seattle,” he said.

Showers will be heavier on the coast and will fall as snow showers in the mountains, especially above about 4,000 feet.

“So, a little bit of wet up in the mountains, but they don’t mind the snow,” Mass said.

He says Saturday will be a pretty decent day and mostly dry, so good for any outdoor activities.

“A weak ridge will be over us. I don’t think there will be much precipitation at all, partly cloudy skies, temperatures getting up around 50,” Mass said.  

Sunday will be a transition day.

“It’ll start off dry, but a fairly strong Pacific front will be moving in during the afternoon and evening, so you’ll notice it clouding up during Sunday,” Mass said

Then rain will start hitting the coast by mid-morning.

“And then it’s going to move in to the Puget Sound area, Western Washington sometime in the middle to late afternoon,” he said.

So, expect it to be raining from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning, Mass says. Then he says it looks like there’s going to be a break later on Monday into early Tuesday when another system’s going to be coming in.

“So it’s not like the precipitation’s over, but we’re going to have a really nice break on Saturday to rake your leaves or get out there and play in the snow,” Mass said.

To hear the full conversation, including a discussion of how forecasting has become increasingly reliable in the past decade, 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