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Sustained Blue Skies Coming, After Northwest Summer Rain Clears Air Of Fireworks Residue

If the cloudy and sometimes dark skies of late have been hard on you, just hang on a bit.  KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says “an improving trend” is ahead. 

Residents of the Pacific Northwest should soon be enjoying a long stretch of sunny skies. They have even  inspired music - like the 1969 TV tune about “the bluest skies you’ve ever seen” are  in Seattle.

Still Cloudy Friday

On Friday, Mass says expect showers and sprinkles, with the wetter stuff happening especially in the Cascade foothills.

"Mixed clouds, maybe getting a little bit sunnier in the afternoon. Temperatures only getting up into the lower 70s – so very, very typical weather for this time of year,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Improving Saturday

Saturday, expect more sprinkles and a few clouds,  especially in the North Cascades on Saturday morning.

“But that’s going to tend to fade out as we get later in the day. All these showers, by the way, are caused by an upper level trough,” Mass said, describing the pressure scenario. “That’s right off shore… bringing this moist, somewhat unstable air into our region.“

He says expect temps to reach maybe the mid-70s on Saturday.

Best Day Sunday, Then Cloudy For A Bit

“Sunday should be the best day. Partly cloudy in the morning, temperatures getting up into the mid- to upper-70s.”

“So, definitely Sunday is going to be the best day of the weekend, Mass said.

He says then expect a patch of rain early next week – but don’t worry.

“It will get better, but we have to get worse first,” Mass said. “Another upper level trough will come in on Monday and Tuesday – so increase of clouds, a few sprinkles, nothing serious – temperatures again dropping back into the lower-70s,” Mass said.

Sustained Sunshine Expected, Starting Wednesday

“But getting into the latter part of the week, we’re going to break right out. The ridge (of high pressure) is going to come back. We’re going to get sunny skies. Temperatures around 80 and then into the low 80s as we get into the latter part of the weekend.

“So we’re about to make the transition.” And he says once that happens, “I can see nothing but sunny skies and temperatures in the low-80s  going at least a  week and a  half.”

To hear the full conversation, including Cliff’s discussion of how fireworks affect air quality and what could be done about that, 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, anda popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, viaiTunes 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