West Seattle Weather Watch: Sights in the sky

(10:44 PM UPDATE: Adding more WSB’er photos that came in tonight – thanks!)

ORIGINAL 6:30 PM REPORT: Tonight’s sunset, and weather, had many faces – depending on where you looked. Even before the sleet!

(Thanks to Christopher Boffoli for the storm video.)

As the sun slipped behind Vashon, Melanie caught the view atop our story – note the cloud edge at right, barely hinting at what Gina caught looking north:

And then back to the south, if you took the wider view, here’s what Claire photographed:

Though the wind advisory is over, stormy weather may continue off and on; keep an eye out here for the latest watches/warnings, and the updated forecast.

ADDED 10:44 PM: Thanks to everyone who has shared photos tonight! Sorry for the delay in adding them. This one’s from Max:

From Michael and Eileen on Genesee Hill:

From Stacy, a Fauntleroy ferry dock view:

Here’s Tina’s view of the clouds and sunset, looking west along Alki:

And Patrick’s photo after the hail/sleet/graupel/whatever, 26th/Alaska:

Thanks for the photos!

22 Replies to "West Seattle Weather Watch: Sights in the sky"

  • GAnative November 11, 2011 (6:39 pm)

    Looks like tornado weather to me…

    • WSB November 11, 2011 (7:47 pm)

      I would call it hail but we have been corrected many a time. Sleet, graupel, whatever. Icy stuff :)

  • JayDee November 11, 2011 (6:53 pm)

    I think that was graupel on my lawn when I got home (not actually sleet). Sorry I missed it…

  • newnative November 11, 2011 (7:10 pm)

    That’s what I saw too as we boarded the ferry from Bainbridge, tornado cell. The hail lasted maybe two minutes.

  • Diane November 11, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    what sleet? that was crazy loud pounding HAIL

  • happy November 11, 2011 (7:38 pm)


    Thanks for the new word! = )

  • Valerie November 11, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    Well HAIL, that ain’t sleet! ;^)

  • Patrick November 11, 2011 (8:30 pm)

    What fell from the sky tonight was HAIL NOT Graupel or sleet.

    Graupel is precipitation that forms when supercooled droplets of water are collected and freeze on a falling snowflake, forming a 2–5 mm ball of rime.

  • JayDee November 11, 2011 (8:56 pm)


    I did say that I *think* it could have been Graupel; if it was hail, great; I still wish I’d been here to see it. When I saw it was near 0.25 inches in diameter. I still prefer this Sturm and Drang to the warm fronts of late winter.

  • christopherboffoli November 11, 2011 (9:02 pm)

    Having grown up in New England (where sleet was much more common than hail) I always thought that tiny pellets were sleet and hail was over a certain size threshold. And more to the point, that hail was only produced by thunderstorms. The term graupel was a new one for me too.

  • Patrick November 11, 2011 (9:02 pm)

    @ JayDee, if you want to see pics of the hail in my neighborhood, go to the WSB’s Facebook page, I uploaded 2 pics from my street ( 26th ave sw )

  • DM November 11, 2011 (9:02 pm)

    Pre-sunset was spooky. Blue sky in the southern half of West Seattle, but the northern half had that yellowish forboding black cloud. The yellowish tint is what gave me the creeps.

  • Minnesota Ex-Pat November 12, 2011 (3:07 am)

    You guys make me laugh with the tornado talk! Not even close, friends. The worst rain storm I’ve encountered here was only a quarter of the way to “severe weather” (thunderstorms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, golf ball-sized hail, flash floods, etc.) in the Midwest. And don’t get me started on snow. :) MAN, I love it here!

  • Kadoo November 12, 2011 (7:29 am)

    Those clouds were so dark I wondered if we’d see a twister coming from the north. The contrast of the black clouds and autumn leaves was so beautiful. Enjoyed the photos posted.

  • sam-c November 12, 2011 (7:42 am)

    the sky was so amazing and beautiful-thanks for posting the pictures. the (hail) was so loud on the top of the car, we weren’t able to hear ourselves talking. we tried to offer a cyclist a ride (instead of riding through the accumulated pellets) and he smiled and thought it was great fun!

  • Valerie November 12, 2011 (8:26 am)

    @Minnesota, you made me laugh. My best friend is from western Kansas and she occasionally reminds me that we don’t *know* from severe weather here :) Though we did both witness true tornadic conditions once, several years ago in the Portland, OR area, but that’s exceedingly rare.

    Thanks to all for the photos!

  • DaveB November 12, 2011 (9:24 am)

    A batch of interesting photographs but I really like Michael and Eileen’s Genesee Hill shot.

  • BA November 12, 2011 (10:27 am)

    @patrick: Don’t be too sure it wasn’t graupel.


  • newnative November 12, 2011 (10:37 am)

    I lived in the Midwest too and I think I can spot a storm cell when I see one. No one said this cloud produced a severe storm, only that it looked intense.
    yesterday’s weather warning was the reason I got out if the house in the first place.

  • Patrick November 12, 2011 (10:49 am)

    @ BA…..

    I appreciate the link but being a Meteorologist I am 100% confident in my assessment of the type of precipitation that fell last night.

    Graupel is white just like snow due to the formation of drier ice crystals adhering to slightly melted snowflakes ( also known as rime ice ).

    The precipitation last night was HAIL through and through, it was a product of downlsope orographic lift off the Olympic mts. running into low level convergence thus enabling enhanced lift allowing the hailstones to repeatedly rise within the cell before plummeting to the surface below.

    Hope this helps.

    Have a great day.

  • Jasperblu November 12, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    Where’s Cliff Mass when we need him?
    I do so love real weather, and whatever that was last night, it was awesome. Bring on some more please. :)

    • WSB November 12, 2011 (4:42 pm)

      Just went back to his site to look and noticed that he had a vague hint of warning about the end of this coming week.
      Much of the rest of what he discussed came to pass … we just came back from a very fast trip across the state and back for a family matter, and while Snoqualmie Pass was devoid of snow when we passed through around 10 am Friday, what a difference when we came back through around 2 pm today. ‘Tis the season for unpredictable weather … TR

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