West Seattle snow and ice: Wednesday morning updates

December 17, 2008 at 4:06 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 61 Comments

(this coverage concluded around 1 pm; click here to go to Wednesday afternoon weather coverage)

The 4 am forecast puts a Winter Weather Advisory into effect until 10 am tomorrow. Who — and where — will see the first flakes? Till they fall, here are some hopefully helpful links:

SchoolReport.org (for Seattle Public Schools status, among others, including Highline and Vashon)
WSB Traffic page with additional cameras/links relevant to West Seattle commuters
City info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including link to plowed-routes map)
County info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including Metro reroutes)
Metro “adverse weather” service status
King County road alerts
Latest forecast
WSDOT trouble spots via Twitter
Washington State Ferries “service bulletins”
Live 911 log for Seattle fire/medic calls

Holy Rosary sent e-mail to say that their school is open and on time.

West Seattle Montessori is open and on time with the possibility of an early dismissal if it starts snowing.

West Seattle Christian Preschool is closed.

The Tilden School is open and on time.

9:12 AM UPDATE: In case you’re at work outside West Seattle now and wondering – no flakes yet. Up north – different story; just saw a snow total report go by on TV – one spot in Skagit County has already had half a foot. Meantime, SDOT has sent an update with a reminder that, as we reported yesterday, you can call in about an iced-over non-arterial:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) proactively positioned crews around the city this morning, with light snow forecast, ready to respond to snow and ice on major arterial streets if needed. During the day, many crews will proceed with normal street maintenance activities while continuing to carefully monitor roadway conditions. Heavier snowfall is forecast for late this afternoon. A full contingent of crews and snow/ice equipment will be deployed in the field in advance of the evening commute.

CLICK AHEAD TO READ THE REST OF OUR AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE:

Seattle was being called “the hole in the doughnut” earlier today as snowfall hit all around the region, but skipped over the city itself. SDOT crews are not letting down their guard, however, and remain available to quickly respond to weather developments.

Today crews continue to clear high priority non-arterial streets of lingering snow and ice, and also public stairways and walkways at critical locations, on a case-by-case basis, in response to requests. SDOT’s trucks are not able to access some of Seattle’s narrow side streets. To submit a request, call 206.386.1218.

9:28 AM UPDATE: Seattle Parks sent word that swim lessons are canceled for the day, though if you want to just go swimming at Southwest Pool, it’s still open:

Swim lessons at Seattle Parks and Recreation pools are canceled today. Pools are open for drop-in programs, and community centers, environmental learning centers, and the Amy Yee Tennis Center are open. Swim lessons will resume when Seattle Public Schools reopen.

The “hole in the doughnut” phrase seems to be applying even immediately westward – there’s a big hole in the clouds to the west, looking toward Bremerton, with a sunbreak. Meteorologist Cliff Mass writes about it – and shows an amazing radar image – on his site. Meantime, if your office closed and you’re home, look on the bright side – extra time for holiday shopping you might have skipped after the weather turned bad last weekend, for example. On the practical side, we’re going to check around to see if the salt/deicer ever showed up at area stores; let us know if you find any – we’re not out of the woods, or snowflakes, yet.

9:41 AM UPDATE: McLendon’s in White Center (map) DID get some salt and deicer this morning but “get there as soon as possible, it’s going fast.” TrueValue in The Junction tells us they may get some tomorrow morning, weather permitting. Home Depot still out (unless you’re looking for sand – that, they have). If you haven’t been outside today – it’s comparatively WARM, even with the wind kicking up a bit. Here’s that hole in the clouds, from outside WSB’s Upper Fauntleroy HQ:

10 AM UPDATE: Watching a briefing on live tv by local transportation authorities downtown – SDOT boss Grace Crunican is speaking, and basically said what’s in the news release above – they’re getting to the side streets while they can (she’s a West Seattleite, by the way). She’s getting asked about West Seattle, in fact, and saying they’ve gone out for some repeat treatments on certain streets, “retraced our tracks,” adding that they’ve also worked with Metro to take care of streets they report as trouble spots. Her part of the briefing just ended; they’re talking now to other city leaders. Meantime, we’re also working on non-weather West Seattle news, so if you’re refreshing this page to check for updates, also check the rest of the site from time to time – should have our next non-weather story up by 10:30, and more to come.

10:22 AM UPDATE: A couple other notes from the ongoing city briefing – Fire Chief Gregory Dean reminds you to keep items away from heaters and check your smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms; if you know someone in need of social services (such as shelter for homeless people), call the 211 hotline. This briefing, by the way, was scheduled yesterday (we got the media advisory – it’s at the city’s new Emergency Operations Center downtown), and no doubt they were expecting that by now they’d be sharing information on some kind of snow event – but instead, it’s taken on more of a preventive tone; you can get lots of that info directly from takewinterbystorm.org.

10:26 AM UPDATE: From Andy Ryan at Seattle Public Utilities — today’s trash pickups are on schedule, and as for the rest of the week:

Thursday and Friday – Customers should set out their materials on their collection day and leave the materials out for the following day if needed. If we do not service by end of the following day, then customers should bring in the materials and set-out on next scheduled collection day.

If you missed our update last night, everyone whose Monday collection was missed in West Seattle should bring it back in; they’ll pick up trash (with double allowance), recycling, and yard waste NEXT Monday, for those customers.

10:51 AM UPDATE: The new forecast is out from the National Weather Service. An excerpt:

REST OF TODAY…SNOW AND RAIN. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH…MAINLY FROM TACOMA SOUTH. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S. SOUTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.

TONIGHT…RAIN EARLY IN THE EVENING…CHANGING TO SNOW SHOWERS DURING THE EVENING. SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES…HEAVIEST ON HILLS AND NORTH OF SEATTLE. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO LOWER 30S. SOUTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.

“Chance of snow” is mentioned for Sunday/Monday.

11 AM UPDATE: Will post this separately too – Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Patti Spencer just confirmed, TONIGHT’S SCHOOL BOARD MEETING IS ON. Important for many West Seattleites going because there’ll be an update on the school-closure process; we’ll be there too.

11:30 AM UPDATE: Some precipitation is moving in – and it looks like RAIN right now – good news for street-clearing now, provided subfreezing temps don’t return later …

12:01 PM UPDATE: We’ll launch an afternoon post by 1 pm. Meantime, if you are home, and it’s raining where you are — co-publisher Patrick reports it seems to be strongest only as far north as Brandon (map) — the shoveling’s a lot easier, now that it’s becoming slush. (If you’re not home, it MIGHT just all be gone before you return.)

12:58 PM UPDATE: Bulletin – sunshine.

61 Comments

  1. KIRO is showing lots of snow coming down in Everett and heading this way. They still say we won’t see snow in Seattle until noon. It’s also snowing in the south sound.

    Comment by cami — 4:41 am December 17, 2008 #

  2. Seattle schools: 2 hours late

    Comment by cami — 5:23 am December 17, 2008 #

  3. Looks like snow just started…

    Comment by heb — 5:47 am December 17, 2008 #

  4. We’ve got flakes in Shorewood! Little ones, but plenty of ‘em.

    SW 106th st. at 28th Ave. SW.

    Comment by Dustin — 5:49 am December 17, 2008 #

  5. Snowing on Beach Drive, just started!

    Comment by herongrrrl — 5:50 am December 17, 2008 #

  6. Just got into work at Boeing Field. The roads are fine out there for now. Genesee, Alaska, WS Bridge, and I-5 are all clear with a little liquid water. A few flakes started falling across the bridge and I-5 around 5:45. May be a different story this afternoon…

    Comment by David — 6:07 am December 17, 2008 #

  7. …snowing in the Junction…

    Comment by d. — 6:14 am December 17, 2008 #

  8. Just in … Vashon Schools are closed.

    Comment by Giyen — 6:18 am December 17, 2008 #

  9. Seattle Schools NOW CLOSED today. Although the website says otherwise (http://www.seattleschools.org/area/main/index.dxml) we just heard it on KIRO News 7 and I received the schoolreport.org email notification.

    Comment by DonaLuisa — 6:20 am December 17, 2008 #

  10. can’t see anything at Admiral yet

    Comment by homesweethome — 6:30 am December 17, 2008 #

  11. DonaLuisa is right. I teach in Seattle Schools and we are making our way down our phone trees notifying teachers of no school in the district today although sps web site isn’t updated yet.

    Comment by Robindianne — 6:36 am December 17, 2008 #

  12. yay no school! no snow in delridge. yet….

    Comment by brittany — 6:37 am December 17, 2008 #

  13. Not one flake near SSCC. Trying to decide if I should drive to Bellevue for work. Doesn’t look like much from here, but sounds like other areas are getting hit now?

    Comment by Bogie — 6:37 am December 17, 2008 #

  14. False alarm, I guess…nothing but really cold wind on Beach Drive at the moment.

    Comment by herongrrrl — 6:39 am December 17, 2008 #

  15. Yeah, stopped here. Just got the automated call from Seattle schools confirming closure.

    Comment by heb — 6:41 am December 17, 2008 #

  16. Uh, I’m seeing some RAINDROPS at 28th Ave SW and SW 102nd. Minus the wind, it’s actually relatively balmy outside!

    Comment by Peaches — 6:54 am December 17, 2008 #

  17. As of 7:03am, no flakes in downtown Seattle. Dry and clear streets.

    Comment by dowtown — 7:04 am December 17, 2008 #

  18. once again proving that weather cannot be accurately predicted. It’s 35 and raining. EVERYBODY PANIC!! :D

    Comment by JenV — 7:08 am December 17, 2008 #

  19. we are in the Olympic snow shadow currently. This is expected to change around mid day.

    So If you were going to salt, chip or shovel your walk and driveway, this is the window of opportunity as temps spike above freezing for a few hours.

    Comment by Ken — 7:18 am December 17, 2008 #

  20. Might be worth a check to see the warmer temps have softened ice on sidewalks/driveways. I know it has on mine, making ice-breaking/shoveling/clearing SOOO much easier (and more effective).

    Comment by Peaches — 7:20 am December 17, 2008 #

  21. as a note, none of the radar images show anything, rain or snow, in the Seattle metro area.

    So look out the window if you want to see what the weather is doing. :)

    Comment by Ken — 7:22 am December 17, 2008 #

  22. Ohhhh I want some more snow! I haven’t seen a flake here (near the WS Nursery).
    .
    Anybody have a good argument as to why my husband should stay in West Seattle instead of commuting to work in Redmond? He says “no snow, so I drive…” but isn’t it supposed to snow mid-day and perhaps during the evening commute? Somebody help me to change his mind!

    Comment by rykrite — 7:24 am December 17, 2008 #

  23. I was just outside and yes, am going to tackle our walkways (street still not great, two cars didn’t make it up the hill an hour ago – maybe surface is melting making it slicker?).

    Comment by GenHillOne — 7:35 am December 17, 2008 #

  24. Nothing downtown/SLU, not a flake or a raindrop.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 7:37 am December 17, 2008 #

  25. It’s not snowing in Arbor Heights. Our street is still very icy. The wind is picking up, pretty gusty. Hopefully we get no snow today. So far snow north and south of Seattle….let’s keep it that way.

    Comment by Darren — 7:40 am December 17, 2008 #

  26. I rode in on the 54 local, 7:00 am, and it was packed! A lot more than usual leaving early today. Downtown, I noticed random patches of salt.

    Comment by Holly — 7:41 am December 17, 2008 #

  27. No school for Kennedy HS. Thanks for the WSDOT Twitter link–how cool!

    Comment by RhondaPorter — 7:49 am December 17, 2008 #

  28. I think it’s funny that the Seattle Schools closed for fear of snow. Not actual weather, but forecast weather.

    I suspect the closure might have something to do with the fact that the Superintendent & other big-wigs were at Pathfinder last night for the hearing, and they saw 1st hand how bad the roads are around here.

    Leaving my house this morning, it was the same as it’s been the past few days – the 4 blocks I travel from my house to California are spicy, but after that, I stick to main roads and there are no problems.

    Comment by Ken S. — 7:51 am December 17, 2008 #

  29. My question is: has the WSB staff slept in the last week? Seems like you are reporting around the clock, which is simply amazing!

    Comment by P — 8:01 am December 17, 2008 #

  30. i guess i gotta go to work! poop!

    Comment by matthew darling — 8:07 am December 17, 2008 #

  31. Made it to Bellevue just fine. No traffic and no sign of snow anywhere.

    Comment by Bogie — 8:14 am December 17, 2008 #

  32. And I made it to Redmond just fine. Very light traffic and no sign of snow.

    Comment by AlkiKmac — 8:39 am December 17, 2008 #

  33. Just got a call from my folks in Woodinville – it is now snowing there. I like to believe that the snow is moving south now….so maybe this snow-hopeful’s wishes will come true!

    Comment by rykrite — 8:42 am December 17, 2008 #

  34. My wish is that if it’s gonna snow, that it’s significant. With this much ice in WS, a trace or an inch will make the ice so much worse than it is now. If we got several inches, at least it packs down and makes it easier to walk.

    Comment by Sue — 8:55 am December 17, 2008 #

  35. Made it to Tacoma, no problem. It’s snowing down here, but the snow is light and the temp is above freezing. Some accumulation on side streets but driving conditions have been fine, and were fine all the way down I-5. (Lots of people stayed home today, though; I-5 northbound was actually LIGHTER this morning than southbound, and that NEVER happens!)

    Comment by datamuse — 9:12 am December 17, 2008 #

  36. My office was closed in Bellevue. Brought some work home, but am feeling incredibly guilty for not making the drive. The news appears to have backed off the initial panic. So wierd that all the schools are closed. Oh, I’d hate to be a weatherperson in Seattle. Just can’t seem to get it right.

    Comment by FabulousEm — 9:17 am December 17, 2008 #

  37. In Fauntleroy/Arbor Heights, I can see large swaths of blue sky between the very swiftly moving clouds. The wind is blowing up lots of whitecaps on the water. But I haven’t seen any rain or snow.

    Comment by hopey — 9:37 am December 17, 2008 #

  38. I stayed home from work today as well. I brought plenty to work on – but I feel incredibly guilty as well!

    Comment by Joleen — 9:57 am December 17, 2008 #

  39. According to Komo:

    In the greater Seattle/Central King County area, shadowing off the Olympic Mountains was keeping the snow away for the early morning and looks like it’ll spare the immediate Seattle-Bellevue area for this morning’s commute. Also, some warmer air is tricking in to some parts of the interior, and some temperatures could reach as high as 35-38 around midday.

    But this is temporary effect and we will switch back to a colder, north wind later in the afternoon, so many places that may get rain or a mix will switch back to snow later today.

    Comment by Bayou — 10:05 am December 17, 2008 #

  40. Don’t feel too guilty. I’ve stayed home because I remember in years past being stuck in absolute freezing gridlock downtown trying to get home when the snowstorm strikes.

    The most recent kiro weather announcement said we may not get snowfall until after dark. That is when I am usually trying to commute home — after sunset.

    Comment by DonaLuisa — 10:06 am December 17, 2008 #

  41. Yeah, I’m keeping an eye out and will leave work early if it looks like getting bad. I’m not too worried as long as the temperature stays above freezing…

    Comment by datamuse — 10:09 am December 17, 2008 #

  42. For an interesting, and startlingly more accurate depiction of what’s going on right now, check out Cliff Mass’ blog .

    This blog actually makes some sense of what’s going on right now.

    Comment by Sam — 10:11 am December 17, 2008 #

  43. That’s a nice image of the “hole in the doughnut” on Cliff’s blog. Mmmmm, snow doughnuts nom nom nom.

    Comment by Bayou — 10:27 am December 17, 2008 #

  44. I had a craving for donuts this morning…which is weird because I don’t like them!

    Comment by datamuse — 10:31 am December 17, 2008 #

  45. What a joke. Seriously people. Not one flake has dropped and you’re all dooms day mode.

    Comment by Burton — 11:13 am December 17, 2008 #

  46. It’s raining a little in Arbor Heights !!! The snow is melting !!!!

    Comment by Darren — 11:15 am December 17, 2008 #

  47. Tis one of those days when I’m cursing working second shift. Trying to come home from Redmond tonight sounds like it may be entertaining!

    Comment by K — 11:24 am December 17, 2008 #

  48. We have TINY little flakes here in SODO.

    Comment by Cait — 11:39 am December 17, 2008 #

  49. Snowing near Rose/Ca avenue now, mixed with rain…fun!

    Comment by Roger — 12:05 pm December 17, 2008 #

  50. Working in Fremont, live by Westwood. Any snow yet??

    Comment by das — 12:08 pm December 17, 2008 #

  51. raining with a few flakes mixed in downtown by the space needle.

    Comment by kittylove — 12:10 pm December 17, 2008 #

  52. It’s spritzing *something* downtown (3rd & Seneca) – very light rain-ish stuff, but the wind is something else!

    Comment by Sue — 12:22 pm December 17, 2008 #

  53. 5th and Columbia – I can actually see the sun!

    For how long, who knows!

    Some kind of mist hitting the office windows at the moment.

    I’m out of here as soon as I see my first flake. Back in ’90(I think) we all got stuck around 4:00 it was brutal. Hiked to Queen Anne and stayed at a friends house.

    Don’t be a hero!

    Comment by Joey — 12:33 pm December 17, 2008 #

  54. yeah. good thing they shut down the Seattle Schools. It’s 37 and positively balmy compared to the last two days. There is now NO ice on the side streets. If I don’t see some serious snow this afternoon, I might hurt something laughing.

    Comment by Jen V. — 12:35 pm December 17, 2008 #

  55. I bet people are gonna be mad if school was cancelled for nothing! I remember when I was in school you couldn’t get a snow day to save your life!!! And then this? Just because Steve Pool was WRONG? Great. Just great.

    Comment by Cait — 12:39 pm December 17, 2008 #

  56. Seattle school had late arrival on Monday and the roads were significantly iced over.
    Today they close based on……a “prediction” of snow?

    Comment by das — 12:45 pm December 17, 2008 #

  57. this really threw a lot of people for a loop. I had to take the morning off and watch my niece because of the school closure. I bet the school board is going to hear some MAJOR complaints about the way this day was handled.

    Comment by Jen V. — 12:45 pm December 17, 2008 #

  58. I love how the news gets everyone all freaked out for nothing…me included. Seriously! Something better happen this afternoon, otherwise what a bunch of trouble for alot of people over nothing
    :( I see blue sky out my window in Lincoln Square (Bellevue) for crimany sake! And to Burton…though this whole thing has turned out to be a joke (for Seattle/Bellevue anyway), I don’t blame people for getting antsy…epecially when it took me 5 1/2 hours to get home to West Seattle from Bellevue two winters ago. It was a mess. I’m learning to expect the opposite of what they predict.

    Comment by MB — 12:54 pm December 17, 2008 #

  59. I remember the storm of 1990. Was stranded on campus (UW) for days.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 1:04 pm December 17, 2008 #

  60. I’ve been snowed in before, too, so I don’t take the storm threats lightly. Worst case scenerio, my husband got a day without a commute (working from home aka C&P), my daughter missed a day of kindergarten, and I got all stocked up on groceries for the next week. I do feel bad for parents who work and have to arrange childcare, but as for me, we’re loving our playdates with local kids/moms today and feeling cozy as the wind blows outside.

    Comment by rykrite — 1:12 pm December 17, 2008 #

  61. Hi again – one more time, we have opened a new post – if there is no more severe weather to come this afternoon/evening, that’ll be the end of it, but in the meantime, we’re moving on to:
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=12752

    starting with a lovely photo of a nearby deiced-by-nature street! Send your pix of happily deiced streets if you got ‘em.

    Comment by WSB — 2:02 pm December 17, 2008 #

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