West Seattle weather updates: Wind warning; road woes

September 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 24 Comments

(Added 10:09 pm: Photo by Tom Marx)
(NOTE: We’re keeping these updates “pinned” to the top of the home page while the warning’s in effect – so there’s newer news BELOW this story on the home page – scroll below this story to see it.)

5:21 PM: Six hours after the National Weather Service upped its alert to a High Wind Warning – see it here – it’s officially in effect. The forecast is for wind picking up this evening, “increasing from the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.” Rain continues too, and our area is under a Flood Watch until noon tomorrow. Updates to come.

6:03 PM: Evening’s first traffic problem – a crash reported on the downhill side of Roxbury/Olson/4th. Uphill side had a mishap earlier (see our photo on Twitter).

7:49 PM: Roxbury seems to be the trouble nexus tonight. Now there’s a report of vehicle/bicycle collision on the county side around 26th/Roxbury. Meantime, check the comment section for weather analyst MetPatrick‘s updates and other discussion on how the storm is turning.

8:37 PM: Traffic note – Kim says via Twitter that there’s a median crash on Admiral Way, a few blocks east of California. No medics dispatched, per 911 log. Meantime, the weather experts are starting to say the winds will NOT be so strong because of where the “low” made landfall – see MetPatrick’s comment below, and see weather analyst Cliff Mass‘s update.

9:29 PM: The National Weather Service’s evening “forecast discussion” is up. NWS also mentions a diminishe(d) threat but says it’s not ready to drop the warnings yet (caps theirs): “BESIDES THE INCREASING PRESSURE GRADIENTS…THERE ARE SOME STRONG WINDS JUST OFF THE SURFACE WHICH COULD MIX DOWN IN THE UNSTABLE AIR BEHIND THE FRONT.”

10:47 PM: First downed-tree report we’ve had since Saturday:

That tree’s down along the sidewalk by the drop-off mailboxes outside the Junction Post Office – note the Hi-Yu mural in the background. Thanks to Jamie Hanley for the photo.

11:25 PM: Via text – a tree branch is down on the road in the Orchard/Dumar/Myrtle vicinity just east of Delridge.

11:56 PM: And a new problem – a crash on Highland Park Way hill, between Holden and West Marginal Way, is closing it off both ways; apparently they need to call City Light in for a pole problem.

2 AM: The wind warning has been downgraded to a wind advisory, in effect until 6 am.

24 Comments

  1. POSTING THIS HERE TOO!!!

    An Update for those who are interested.
    The NWS is onboard with saying a very strong wind event will hit the area for this time of year and I agree wholeheartedly.
    A 968mb Low offshore will make landfall on SW Vancouver Isle later this aft/eve and with rapid cyclogenisis occurring this storm will be the strongest september windstorm in recent history. The left exit region and associated BBO ( bent back Occlusion ) will further enhance a VERY strong jet streak @ 925mb reaching down to just above the surface with initial SE winds shifting to S and SW later this evening and overnight sustained 30-40mph with gusts 60mph+ with the wind/s slowly abating by 3-4am but still moderately breezy to strong by Monday am. Very Likely portions of W. Sea suffer power outages tonight ESPECIALLY areas directly exposed to the SW winds developing later on.
    IF you live in an area of W.Sea that is low lying or a valley type topography any strong gusts will be markedly faster due to compression ( winds speed up as they are forced through a gap ) so a 50mph gust over open land will be 65mph+ in the aforementioned topographical area/s, further exacerbating the wind gusts are the STILL fully leaved trees thus making a tree that would be less impacted by stronger gusts likely to come down in weaker gusts this time around b/c of this.
    SECURE ANYTHING you don’t want to land in a diff. county and keep an ear to the trees in your neighborhood. STAY SAFE W. Sea
    P.S. should you want to watch the storm, Constellation park will be the perfect spot tonight.

    Comment by Metpatrick — 6:02 pm September 29, 2013 #

  2. A very interesting (and entertaining) weather service discussion, at 4:30 today, of what is happening:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=SEW&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

    Great vocabulary words: bombogenesis, advection.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 6:04 pm September 29, 2013 #

  3. 6 pm SPC Meso update shows a 4mb drop in pressure for storm offshore NOW down to 974mb, very strong for this time of year, winds should start within the next 2-3 hours

    Comment by Metpatrick — 6:21 pm September 29, 2013 #

  4. Keep us updated!

    Comment by D1 — 7:33 pm September 29, 2013 #

  5. Well folks it appears the NWS and the models were wrong as the storm as of the last update ( over the last 3 hours ) took an immediate left turn at the last second and made landfall just south of the N. Tip of Van Isle with the central pressure having bottomed out @ 974mb and central pressure NOW at 980mb, meaning the storm is weakening thus LIKELY limiting the impact ( Wind Wise ) at the very least for the central sound ( W. Sea ) included, I am now thinking max gusts around 35-40mph instead of the NWS thinking of 55-60+ mph

    Comment by Metpatrick — 7:34 pm September 29, 2013 #

  6. http://www.intellicast.com/national/wind/current.aspx?location=USWA0395

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 7:44 pm September 29, 2013 #

  7. @ Lura, that map is NOT accurate, the gradient at the coast right now does not support the speeds that map is showing

    Comment by Metpatrick — 7:50 pm September 29, 2013 #

  8. UPDATE: Storm center has shifted further north just south of Haida Gwaii with a central pressure of 984mb, AND newest models show the central sound up to about Mt. Vernon not getting wind gusts ABOVE 30mph for this entire event. Mother Nature pulled a fast one on us today, even the left exit region of this storm has weakened significantly. HUGE EPIC FAIL by NWS for forecasting the way they did with this storm but I will say ALL signs DID point to a significant wind event earlier today but now ALL signs point to virtually a non event for approx. 80% of W. Washington. EVEN the gusts on the coast are barely approaching 45mph whereas the warnings called for gusts to 75mph especially the north coast where winds so far have been barely gusting above 20mph…

    Safe to go to sleep tonight folks

    Comment by Metpatrick — 8:18 pm September 29, 2013 #

  9. My tv watching thanks you Patrick!

    Comment by Colleen — 8:37 pm September 29, 2013 #

  10. I’ve added a link to MetP to the story above and also to Cliff Mass, who has pointed out the same thing, that it doesn’t look like it’ll be Windpocalypse tonight after all.

    Comment by WSB — 8:43 pm September 29, 2013 #

  11. Let me reiterate that it WILL be windy tonight but don’t be fooled into thinking that will be NO wind, there WILL be just NOT as windy as forecasted.

    Comment by Metpatrick — 9:03 pm September 29, 2013 #

  12. Wind sounds like it has started to arrive! I love some stormy fall weather.

    Comment by Shannon — 9:10 pm September 29, 2013 #

  13. Metpatrick, thank you for all your info, it helped as I had company and football to watch!

    I somehow knew that by the time 9pm hit something had changed. However, I think we got lucky this time and this fall/winter has more for us in the coming months. Gateway/Upper Fauntleroy pretty darn windy!

    My gut says we are due for a wet and windy fall as well as a very cold snowy winter. I am ready!!

    Wood for fire, food and water stored up, 4 wheel drive ready to go for helping friends and playing!!

    Yee Haw!!

    Comment by T Rex — 9:52 pm September 29, 2013 #

  14. Really appreciate your updates and descriptions, Metpatrick. They’re always very educational for me. And I’m always intrigued by just how fickle the weather can be.

    Comment by M — 9:53 pm September 29, 2013 #

  15. Stormin’ Norman just knocked on our door near Lincoln Park.

    Comment by Windy Wendy — 9:54 pm September 29, 2013 #

  16. Part of me loves a windy night. The other part wonders if the giant tree in our front yard will take us out. ;-)

    Comment by WD — 10:03 pm September 29, 2013 #

  17. Sheesh, what Windy Wendy said…. our windows are flexing something fierce!!

    Comment by jissy — 10:04 pm September 29, 2013 #

  18. Yesterday was much worse than anything encountered today. But I’m kind of OK with the false alarm. It gave me a chance to make sure my emergency supplies were stocked and ready. I am now prepared for a real storm should it come this season!

    Comment by Charlie — 10:52 pm September 29, 2013 #

  19. Excellent point to bring up. We in fact are going to start a preparedness series of sorts this coming week … you’re already in the spirit!

    Comment by WSB — 10:55 pm September 29, 2013 #

  20. Thought things were calming down, but it’s sounding newly noisy out there now (Junction, by Seattle Lutheran). Heard something just now about 50+ mph at Alki? Sure sounds raucous over here.

    Comment by JunctionM — 11:45 pm September 29, 2013 #

  21. Alki Point is like a wind tunnel. There was a gust around 50 mph, per the NWS. Not unusual in modestly stormy conditions. You can see what it’s clocked at at the top of the hour – http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/nw.cgi?what=0 – look for K91S, which is the Alki Point weather station. It clocked a 46-mph gust at 11 pm. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:55 pm September 29, 2013 #

  22. @patrick any thoughts on snow in the upcoming winter?

    Comment by d1 — 1:18 am September 30, 2013 #

  23. Patrick, do you have a blog or Twitter account to follow?

    Thanks for all the info.

    Comment by smokeycretin9 — 7:25 am September 30, 2013 #

  24. https://twitter.com/pskelly74

    Comment by WSB — 7:43 am September 30, 2013 #

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