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Classic Northwest Weekend Ahead: Partly Cloudy With A Chance Of Rain

The record cold, wet and snowy weather of late February has subsided. Residents of western Washington can look forward to a classic Northwest weekend, with mild temperatures, partly cloudy skies and just a chance of rain.

“It’s going to be a fairly dry weekend,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

He said Friday morning, the Puget Sound region got a few showers, as a band of rain came around a low pressure center that set up right off of the Oregon Coast. That pattern basically continues for the rest of the day.

Mild Friday

“That low is going to sort of hang out there and slowly slip towards California a bit,” Mass said. This will bring classic mild late-winter conditions on Friday: partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 40s, with maybe a few showers, especially in the southern part of Puget Sound.

“But nothing much at all,” he said.

Milder Saturday

Mass says expect even less wet stuff on Saturday.

“Saturday looks like a really good day,” he said.

He says that low pressure center is expected to slip even further away, and temperatures will get up to somewhere around 48-50 degrees.

“And I don’t think there’ll be much rain at all,” Mass said. “It’ll be partly cloudy, maybe a few showers in the mountains, nothing more than that.”

A Bit Wetter Sunday

Mass says Sunday will start off dry, but he expects there could be a few showers later in the day.

“Particularly when you’re near the slopes of the Cascades and the Cascades” Mass said. “So, nothing serious, but it looks like a few showers – very weak showers – coming in late Sunday.”

Dry Again Monday And Tuesday

Mass says it looks like the showers subside again on Monday, and it remains fairly dry on Tuesday as well.

“Ironically, most of the precipitation is going to California,” Mass said. “There’s a deep trough offshore of the Pacific Northwest and that’s sending the jet stream down to California and they are getting hit hard: inches of rain around San Francisco, feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada,” he said.

That’s in stark contrast to the gray skies and benign situation in the Northwest.

“It’s going to be very different down there. They’re getting our weather and we’re going to be relatively dry,” Mass said.

To hear the full conversation – including a discussion of the difference between hail and graupel and how the latter is what we get around here as well as how graupel and sleet form – 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 iTunes or 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