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Weather with Cliff Mass

Weather with Cliff Mass

By Cliff Mass
Atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass provides a weekly weather forecast for the Pacific Northwest, details current and future weather topics, and discusses related topics. Podcast is released every Friday at 9am.

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The Upcoming Snow Event and the Meteorological "Trick" for Westside Snow
A major weather change will occur over the next few days, with cooling temperatures, large snowfalls in the mountains, and even some snow reaching the western lowlands.  I will tell you what is in store.  And in the second segment, I will describe the meteorological trick that allows the nearly improbable to happen:  lowland snow in western Washington.
December 3, 2021
Roadway Icing Threat and the Latest (Dry) Forecast
My podcast today talks about the biggest meteorological threat faced by Northwest residents....roadway icing.  Sometimes called "black ice."  And I start with the latest forecast, which projects a dry weekend ahead, but more rain during Thanksgiving week and turkey day.
November 19, 2021
The Origin of Northwest Flooding and a Very Wet Forecast for the Next Few Days
The source of nearly all billion-dollar disasters in the Northwest is flooding.  This podcast will provide you with the essential story about Northwest flooding, with origins from atmospheric rivers to melting snow.  And a look forward to the impacts of global warming  The podcast also provides the latest weekend forecast, which includes everything from heavy rain from atmospheric rivers to a powerful front on Monday.
November 12, 2021
La Nina is Revving Up, What Does it Mean? And Upcoming Snow in the Mountains.
This podcast begins with the forecast, which includes lots of precipitation, increasing snow in the mountains, and a potential windstorm on Tuesday.  In the second segment, I talk about the rapidly intensifying La Nina in the tropical Pacific and the potential (and snowy) implications for the upcoming winter.
November 5, 2021
Why are there atmospheric rivers? And the important Halloween forecast!
During the past weeks, two major atmospheric rivers have hit the West Coast with heavy rainfall.  What are atmospheric rivers and WHY do they form?    This podcast will provide the answer.   And I will start the podcast with the weekend and next week forecasting, including a highly favorable forecast for Halloween.
October 29, 2021
The Great Storms of the Northwest and a Very Difficult Forecast
The Pacific Northwest can experience great storms, as significant as category 3 hurricanes, and this blog will tell you about them.  And I will discuss the difficult forecast for this weekend when the strongest storm in Northwest history will develop off our coast.  But there is a problem:  we are not sure where it will go!  I will describe the dilemma in this podcast.
October 22, 2021
The Columbus Day Storm--the Strongest Northwest Storm Ever-- and the Latest Forecast
This week brought the anniversary of the great 1962 Columbus Day Storm, the most severe weather event in Northwest history.  I will talk about the fascinating origins of the storm and its extraordinary impacts.  And I will provide the forecast, with wet, stormy conditions ahead for Sunday morning
October 15, 2021
The Facts about Humidity. And the Latest Forecast
Moisture matters, both due to comfort and the effects on the atmosphere.   In the media, you hear about relative humidity and dew point temperature.  What are they?  Which a more useful?  I will reveal all in the Podcast.  And I will start with the forecast, which includes bring sun, rain, and even snow in the mountains.
October 8, 2021
Northwest Extreme Rainshadows, A Whale Cloud, and the Weekend Forecast
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most extreme rainshadows in the world--I will tell their story in the podcast.  Plus, I will talk about the "whale cloud" that is offshore right now, and provide you with the weekend forecast.
October 1, 2021
Weather Signs in the Sky and a Wet Week Ahead
Can you tell the weather ahead by observing our local mountains?  You bet.  One potent sign of inclement weather is the development of cloud "caps" over the local mountains.  In my podcast, I will explain how this works.  And I will give you the upcoming weather forecast, featuring a few warm days following by a very wet week.
September 24, 2021
Why are Northwest Summers So Dry? And the Latest on the the Heavy Rain Event.
The Northwest has some of the driest summers in the nation.  Why?   You will learn the answer in this podcast.    And then there is the major precipitation event today and this weekend.....I will give you the details, telling you how much, and explain why you may hear some thunder before long.
September 17, 2021
Real Rain Is Coming and the Story of the Jet Stream
We are about to experience a real change in our weather, including significant rain and much cooler temperatures.  I will give you the latest forecast. And in the second segment, I will explain the details of the jet stream, which is rapidly revving up now.  You will learn why it exists, its profound effects on weather, and how it impacted World War II.
September 10, 2021
Why doesn't the Northwest Get Tropical Storms and Hurricanes? And the Labor Day Weekend Forecast!
The southeast U.S. and the East Coast can experience tropical storms and hurricanes.....but not here in the Pacific Northwest.  Why?  This podcast explains.   I also provide the latest weekend forecast, which includes both sun and clouds....with a chance of rain tomorrow night.
September 3, 2021
The Dangerous Wildfire Season over Western Washington and Oregon is Now, Plus the Forecast
Virtually all major wildfires west of the Cascade crest occur from mid-August to mid-September.  But why?   I will explain in this podcast.  And I will tell you about some surprising findings regarding the effects of global warming on westside fires in our region.  In addition, I will give you the latest forecast, which includes a beautiful weekend, but a cooling trend on Monday and Tuesday.
August 27, 2021
The Upcoming La Nina and the Weekend Forecast
La Nina is coming and in this podcast, I will you all about it, including its implications for our summer weather.  And I will also describe the forecast, with near-normal temperature for the next few days.
August 20, 2021
The New UN Climate Report and the Weather Forecast for Next Week
This podcast provides my take on the new IPCC climate report and the big changes in the weather we will experience during the next week.   The new climate report is actually quite optimistic about future climate change and far less apocalyptic than many media reports.   The smoky weather of today will clear up by Monday, with normal temperatures returning.  I also talk about the wild local heatwave yesterday in Bellingham.
August 13, 2021
Cool/Wet to Heatwave This Week. Plus, Global Warming's Role in the June Heat Wave
This podcast starts with a dramatically changing forecast, where we go from cool/wet conditions to another heatwave.  In the second, half I examine claims about a dominant global warming origin of the June heatwave.  It simply isn't true and I tell you why.
August 6, 2021
Major Weather Change Towards Cooler/Wetter Weather Ahead. Plus Northwest Thunderstorms 101
Be ready for weather whiplash.  In western Washington over the next week, we will go from a minor heatwave to much cooler conditions and some light rain.  East of the Cascades, temperatures over 100F today will transition to a regime of scattered thunderstorms associated with a plume of moisture from the southwest.   In the second segment, I will tell you about the basics of regional thunderstorms and why we are so thunderstorm deficient in our region.
July 30, 2021
How Does Wildfire Smoke Move In the Atmosphere? Plus Weather Perfection
How does wildfire smoke move in the atmosphere?  Why does smoke sometimes travel thousands of miles and what controls whether wildfire smoke reaches the surface?  I will talk about all of these things and more in my podcast.  Plus, the forecast, which can only be described as meteorological perfection.
July 23, 2021
Why are Northwest Midsummers so Dry? And a cool period ahead.
We are now entering the driest period of the year climatologically.  Amazingly dry.  And in my podcast, I tell you why!   I also review the forecast for the next week, a period that should be relatively cool, with morning low clouds west of the Cascade crest, and clean air for Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland.
July 16, 2021
Northwest Sea Breezes and The Potential Cool Down Ahead
This is sea breeze season in the Pacific Northwest and my podcast will tell the story.  In fact, we have some of the strongest sea breezes in the country and they come in a wide variety of sizes and strengths.   My podcast also provides the forecast, including typical weather over the weekend and the potential for a cool/moist period next weekend.
July 9, 2021
The Heat Wave and Global Warming. Plus the Forecast
There has been much speculation that the severe heatwave of the past week was the result of global warming.  The truth is that global warming played a very minor role.   I will provide evidence for this in my podcast.  And I will also provide the latest forecast for the July 4 weekend!
July 2, 2021
Extreme High Temperatures over Western Oregon and Washington. Why Will We Break All Time Records?
My podcast describes the reasons behind the high temperature records expected on Sunday and Monday.
June 25, 2021
The Truth About High Temperature Records and the Weekend Forecast
There has been a lot of talk about heat waves this week, and I wanted to provide some heat-wave 101 in this podcast.  Have we been breaking more high-temperature records during the past decades?  The answer may surprise you!  And I provide the weekend forecast, which promises dry conditions and temperatures increasing into the lower 80s during the next few days.
June 18, 2021
Tropical Air, Atmospheric Rivers, and A Wet Period Ahead
This podcast will start with the forecast, with a wet Sunday and Tuesday ahead.   We may even have record-breaking humid air on Sunday.  And in the second half, I will tell you about the cause:  a moist atmospheric river that will bring water vapor, precipitation, and perhaps even thunderstorms to the region.
June 11, 2021
The Most Important Weather Feature of Northwest Summers and A Wet Weekend Forecast
What is the most important summer weather feature of the Pacific Northwest?  It is not thunderstorms like the rest of the country!  Instead, our big weather issue is the onshore or marine push.  You will learn about it in my podcast.   I will also provide the latest forecast, which includes the passage of some moderate cold fronts with rain over the weekend.  Finally, there will be a special zoom session for this podcast's Patreon supporters tomorrow June 5 at 10 AM.  I will talk about weather satellite imagery and how you can use it.  And answer any of your weather questions.
June 4, 2021
The Numerical Weather Prediction Revolution and a Warm Memorial Day Weekend Forecast
What is the key technology behind weather prediction?   How can computer "models" predict the weather days in advance?  You will learn about this in my podcast today.   And I will provide the Memorial Day weekend forecast, which portends lots of sun and warming temperatures.  Look forward to highs reaching 80F in western Washington early next week, and over 100F in portions of eastern Washington.
May 28, 2021
The History of Weather Prediction, Part II, and the Latest Forecast
This podcast will continue the story of weather prediction, described the evolution of weather prediction from folk wisdom to the use of the telegraphy for distributing real-time weather observations.  And our story continues through World War I and the discovery of how major weather systems evolve.   It is a fascinating tale.  And this podcast starts with this weekend's weather forecast, including a sunny Saturday and a cloudy Sunday.
May 21, 2021
A Perfect Weekend and the Fascinating History of Weather Forecasting
Weather prediction is one of the great achievements of our species.  What is its history?  How did it develop?  Today's podcast will begin to tell you the story.  And I will provide the latest forecasts for our region, including an extraordinarily warm and dry weekend, but with a major shift to clouds and showers next week.
May 14, 2021
Why are there showers and sun breaks during the spring? And the Mother's Day weekend forecast.
A signature aspect of Northwest weather is the occurrence of showers and sun breaks during the spring.  Why does this happen now?  You will learn the details during the podcast.  And I will also provide the Mother's Day weekend forecast.  Looks good for Sunday and even better early in the week.
May 7, 2021
How Far Into The Future Can We Predict the Weather. And the Weekend Forecast
Many ask:   how far into the future can we predict the weather?   The answer is found in this podcast, and it is more nuanced than some might expect.  And I will also provide the weekend forecast.... one that is encouraging for Sunday!
April 30, 2021
Weather Radar Explanation and A Major Shift in Northwest Weather
The weather is about to shift in a major way, from warm/dry conditions to cool and wet, and I will give you the details in this podcast.  I will also answer a frequent question:  what is weather radar and how can you use it to stay dry?   Weather radar can change your life....but a little knowledge will help.
April 23, 2021
The Secrets of Northwest Heatwaves and the Warm Forecast for this Weekend
What meteorological conditions lead to heatwaves in western Washington and Oregon?  This podcast will reveal the details!  And I will provide the forecast for this weekend, where high temperatures west of the Cascade crest will rise to 20 degrees above normal.  So get a cool drink, find your sunglasses, and listen in.
April 16, 2021
From Freezing to Warmth. And An In-Depth Look at the Fading La Nina
The next week will be one of great contrast for the Northwest.  We will go from MUCH cooler than normal temperatures over the weekend, with frost at sea level and moderate snow in the Cascades, to temperatures surging into the upper 60s west of the Cascades by the end of the week.  In the second part of the podcat, I go into some depth on the decline of the current La Nina, talking about the nature of the El Nino/La Nina oscillation and the potential impacts of a weakening La Nina on West Coast precipitation next winter.
April 9, 2021
Why are there contrails? And the weekend forecast
The sky is often covered by thin lines of ice clouds, known as contrails.  In my podcast, I will explain why they occur and what they tell you about the atmosphere above.  I will also discuss the climatic effects of contrails.   And I will give you the weekend weather forecast and tell you how warm temperatures are only a short drive away.
April 2, 2021
Can You Humans Alter the Weather? And the Weekend Forecast.
Do humans have the power to alter the weather?   I will answer this question in my podcast.  And I provide a weekend weather forecast for the region, including a strong front that will cross Washington State on Sunday and plenty of snow late Sunday in the mountains.
March 26, 2021
Western Washington Has the Longest Springs in the Nation. Why? Plus the Weekend Forecast
Western Washington and Oregon have the longest springs in the nation, extending to 4 months or more.  I explain why in this podcast.  And I will give the weekend forecast, which promises lots of snow in the mountains, and showers with sun breaks in the lowlands.
March 19, 2021
Why are thunderstorms so wimpy over the Northwest? Plus, the weekend forecast!
Western Washington and Oregon have fewer and weaker thunderstorms than much of the U.S.   In this podcast, I explain why.   And I provide the weekend forecast, describing a beautiful Saturday, with a strong from moving through on Sunday afternoon.
March 12, 2021
Why U.S. Weather Prediction Is Lagging, Plus the Weekend Forecast
In this podcast, I discuss a major issue:  U.S. global weather prediction is lagging the rest of the world.  Not only do I lay out the problem, but tell you why.   My podcast also provides the weekend forecast for the region, with a showery weekend followed by dry, warming weather later in the week.
March 5, 2021
Weekend Forecast Plus Why is Texas Winter Weather So Extreme?
In this podcast I start with the weekend weather forecast, which will be pretty benign because of the influence of a large ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific. Then I turn to the extreme weather of Texas, particularly its gyrations between summer warmth and Arctic cold during the winter months.   As I will explain, geography is meteorological destiny.
February 26, 2021
Super Rain Shadow and the Truth about the Texas Cold Wave
In this segment I discuss the profound rain shadow that will occur this weekend, with heavy snow and rain in the mountains and relatively dry conditions over the Puget Sound lowlands and the eastern slopes of the Cascades.  And then in the second segment, I take on the misinformation about the Texas cold wave.  There are a lot of claims in major media that cold waves, like the current one, are associated with global warming and will increase under global warming.  This is simply not true and I tell you why.
February 19, 2021
Weekend Snow Forecast
This podcast is about the expected snowfall this weekend, with the big event tonight and tomorrow (Saturday), with a look out into next week.
February 12, 2021
February Snow Event
In this podcast I talk about the upcoming major snow event and some of the challenges in forecasting it.
February 10, 2021
Cold Air Coming to the Northwest and Is There A Pacific Data Void for Weather Information?
I start with the forecast, with particular attention to the cold air that will push over the region this week.  Will it snow?  We will examine that.  And in the second portion of the podcast, I answer the question that many ask:  is there a void of weather data over the Pacific Ocean?  Does that make weather prediction difficult here in the Northwest?  My answer my surprise you!
February 5, 2021
Weekend Forecast and Roadway Icing: The Most Dangerous Weather Phenomena of the Northwest
This podcast starts with the weekend forecast, which includes several frontal passages,  showers, and moderate mountain snows. But then I turn to the most dangerous weather phenomenon of the region--  ice on the roadways--and tell you what to look for and how to protect yourself from this hazard.
January 29, 2021
Upcoming Cold and Potential Snow, and Why Did Wednesday's Storm Forecast Go Wrong?
We have some interesting weather ahead.  First most dry with plenty of sun.  But then the potential for MUCH colder temperatures and lowland snow later in the week.  And in the second section I talk about our Wednesday windstorm and why the forecast was mediocre at best.
January 15, 2021
Weekend Forecast Plus Where Does the Energy of Storms Come From?
I start with the weekend forecast, including a dry Saturday, gusty downslope winds on the Cascades, a decent Sunday, and then the potential for a VERY wet period of Tuesday and Wednesday.   Then I answer a question posed by several of you:  what is the energy source of storms?    You will learn that tropical and midlatitude storms get their power in different ways!
January 8, 2021
New Year's Forecast and Why are There Wind Gusts?
In this podcast, I will give you the windy forecast for this weekend and tell you about a powerful front that will cross our region on Saturday night.  Then, after the intermission, I will tell you why there are wind gusts.  Why aren't winds steady, but periodically increase substantially in strength?  You will be gust-informed by the end of the podcast.
January 1, 2021
The Holiday Week Forecast and a Look at the Northeast Snowstorm
The holiday week weather forecast is important and I will provide the details, including the outlook for this weekend, the dry spell midweek, and the Christmas Day forecast.  Plus, I will give you the inside story on the big Northeast snowstorm of yesterday, where some locations received 40-50 inches of snow!   How do these snowstorms form and how well can we forecast them?
December 18, 2020
Implications of La Nina for Our Winter and the Latest Forecast
This winter will be characterized by a strong La Nina (cooler than normal waters in the tropical Pacific).  What does this mean for our winter's weather?  Snowpack?   I will explain it all.   And I will also provide the latest forecast, with Saturday being the last dry, sunny day in a long, long time!
December 11, 2020
Why do Temperatures Sometime Warm with Height? Inversions Explained. Plus the Weekend Forecast!
During the autumn, the Northwest is often visited by a strange condition:   temperatures WARMING with height.  These features are called inversions and this podcast will explain why they occur and how you can use inversion knowledge to escape the cold and murk on many autumn days! And I provide the forecast for this weekend, which actually is not bad for this time of the year.
December 4, 2020
Why is November the Stormiest Time of the Year? Plus the Forecast for the Next Week
The middle to end of November is the stormiest time of the year.  Why?  My podcast today will explain?   And we have an interesting weather period ahead, with unusually dry conditions and powerful easterly winds in gaps in the Cascades and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  That and the rest of the forecast will be provided in the podcast.
November 27, 2020
Northwest's Big Windstorms and the Thanksgiving Day Forecast
The Northwest can get big windstorms associated with Pacific cyclones, with the strongest equivalent to category 1 or 2 hurricanes in wind speed and damage potential.  In this blog, I will talk about our windstorms and tell you about some of the most memorable.   I will also give you the forecast, including an optimistic view for Thanksgiving Day.
November 20, 2020
Snowy Weekend in the Mountains and the Winter Forecast
During the next few days there is going to be heavy snow in the mountains and breezy/wet conditions in the lowlands.  Normal for this time of the year.  The latest model forecasts suggest the potential for a major windstorm later on Tuesday, but it it is too early to be certain about this! My second segment today will look ahead to the winter.  It looks like a strong La Nina is in place and that means lots of snow in mountains and cooler/wetter than normal in the lowlands.  A good year to bet on a season's pass at your favorite ski area!
November 13, 2020
A Major Change in Our Weather and Where Can You Get the Best Weather Forecast?
There has been, literally, a 180 degree change in our weather, with warm, moist southerly flow replaced by cool, drier air from the north.  Sixty degree temperatures are probably over the the season.  I will describe the cool, windy future weather of this weekend and look ahead to the rest of the week. In my second segment I answer the most asked question I receive:  where can one get the best forecast?   Which group provides the most skillful predictions?  All will be revealed in my podcast!
November 6, 2020
Election Week Forecast and Why Do Hurricanes Avoid the Northwest?
In this episode,  I give the important election week weather forecast--and I am not going to speculate on which party it will favor!   This week, Hurricane Zeta hit the Gulf Coast.  Why doesn't the West Coast get hurricanes?    You will will learn the cold truth on this podcast.
October 30, 2020
Cold, Wind, and Snow this Weekend, Plus the Secret of Western Washington Snow Events
In this episode, I talk about the active weather we will experience this weekend, including strong winds, mountain and eastern WA snow, as well as cold temperatures.  This weather will be startling to many.   And in the second segment, I will tell you why it is so hard to get snow in western Washington and will reveal the rare weather situation that allows snow to reach to sea level, west of the Cascade crest.   
October 23, 2020
The Revenge of the Blob and the Weekend Forecast
After a blustery Friday, expect a cool weekend with some showers on Sunday morning.  But one thing has NOT been cool is the low temperatures we have experienced each morning.  For over a month, our low temperatures have been 5-8F above normal.  Why?  It turns out that  the feared BLOB of warm eastern Pacific temperatures have returned and that warm water is keeping our temperatures toasty at night.  In the second segment of my podcast I will tell you all you need about the BLOB and why it strengthened over the summer.
October 16, 2020
Stormy Weather and the Remarkable Jet Stream
The weather is about to change in a big way, and I will talk about heavy rain, wind, thunderstorms and mountain snows that will impact our region over the weekend and beyond.  And then I will turn to talking about the jet stream, the strong current of winds in the upper atmosphere that has a huge impact on aviation, storms and more.  Why do jet streams exist?  Who discovered them?  All will be revealed in this podcast.
October 9, 2020
Why so much fog in fall?
I start with with forecast, noting our foggy mornings, and describe the dry period ahead.  And you will learn about the future of our smoke.  In the second segment I tell you why we are in the middle of the Northwest fog season.  You will be fog knowledgeable when I am done!
October 2, 2020
Heavy Rain and Atmospheric Rivers
I start with the forecast, discussing an atmospheric river bringing heavy rain today, followed by drying over the weekend and the development of big ridge and warm/dry weather during the week.  Temperatures rising to near 80F by mid-weedk. Then in my second segment, I give you a short course on  atmospheric rivers--what are they are why are they so important for NW weather.
September 25, 2020
The End of Smoke & Why is Smoke Forecasting So Hard?
Let's jump right in to the current weather situation with your weekend forecast (expect major improvement in the smoke situation on Saturday). In my special segment I will describe how smoke forecasts are made and why our models ran into trouble during the past week. 
September 18, 2020
Smoke and Fire
This episode will talk about the smoke moving into the Puget Sound and potential for a major influx on Friday.  I will provide the weekend forecast and talk about rain coming in by Tuesday.  In my special segment, I will answer the key question:  are the big fires in Oregon associated with global warming.
September 11, 2020
Labor Day Forecast & the Looming Heatwave
Going somewhere for Labor Day? Cliff provides a detailed holiday weekend forecast for the Western Washington and Seattle areas in the first segment. In the second segment, Cliff details the looming record breaking heatwave set to strike and a smokey surprise from California.   Support this podcast on Patreon!
September 4, 2020