Last one didn’t pan out – the one before that did – so hey, who knows what’ll happen this time! The National Weather Service has another Special Weather Statement in effect; see the entire alert here. The scenario is similar to last weekend, when the North Sound got a big blast of snow (and we didn’t), but there’s also a chance the cold air and moisture could push this far south. Stay tuned.
SIDE NOTE: Only one more week until we “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time – Saturday night/Sunday morning, March 8-9.
(Click image for larger view – close enough to see the snow-covered trees!)
Down to the final four weeks of winter, and the Olympic Mountains finally have a truly wintry amount of snow! Thanks to Chris Frankovich for capturing this morning’s fully frosted view!
Before we get on with the rest of the night’s news – quite a sight at sunset. Thanks to Wayne McFarland for the photo above from Fauntleroy, and JayDee for the photo below from Upper Alki, both showing the storm clouds that rose over the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, as well as further south, before and at sunset.
The forecast suggests it’ll be breezy and rainy off and on at least through Thursday night.
Thanks to Tanya in North Delridge for the photo of a storm-related close call – a tree limb as big as an entire tree, at least 50 feet long, came off a neighbor’s tree in the Saturday wind and rain, landing in her yard and theirs. She says it “landed perfectly to miss our house and our beloved maple trees.” They’re putting together a neighborhood work party in hopes of clearing it away this afternoon. This might not be the last weather-related tree trouble in the area, since the National Weather Service has a new Wind Advisory in effect (see it here) until midnight tonight, warning of strong winds out of the south, with gusts up to 55 mph.
ADDED LATE SUNDAY NIGHT: The wind advisory expired at midnight as scheduled. And we have an update from Tanya:
Wow. With the help of 6 neighbors, we had the whole cedar limb cleared in 1.5 hours. We filled 7 yard waste bins, gave a neighbor a ton of firewood, and had fun doing it. It was an amazing effort! Without our neighbors, we faced a daunting task. But with their help, we remained light-hearted about the whole incident, and were left feeling deeply supported.
Thanks for sharing rainbow photos! Above, Mark Dale‘s view of a state ferry (rather than the rumored pot of gold) at the “end of the rainbow”; next, Joe Szilagyi photographed almost the entirety of the rainbow’s arc, seen from Alki:
And Greg caught it between Fauntleroy and Vashon, with two state ferries in view:
Next up for the weather – a new Wind Advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect through midnight (more on that shortly.)
ADDED 4:46 PM: Thanks to Creighton (welcome back!) for sharing a northeast view:
What a day!
1:03 PM: A new Special Weather Statement is up for our area – this time, warning of two rounds of wind on the way, possibly with gusts up to 50 mph. First one is expected tonight; second one, Sunday afternoon. Keep everything charged!
6:29 PM: The alert has been upgraded to a wind advisory through 4 am Sunday. Same basic points – winds could gust up to 50 mph. Sounds like they’re kicking up right now.
Thanks to Todd Vandemark for sharing that photo from tonight’s Valentine’s Day sunset – we’re sharing it while working on a couple other distinctly non-Valentiney stories. Enjoy the evening – more rain and wind is said to be on the way, but not right away.
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James doing some above-ground photography tonight after she spotted stormwater “going the wrong way” from a drain cover under the West Seattle Bridge (above) and along Harbor Avenue:
As you’ll see on this King County webpage, the rain is also overwhelming the system in a few spots – as we write this, four red triangles mark four combined-sewer overflows on the Duwamish, and if you look at the yellow spots, those mark earlier overflows. No CSOs are shown right now on the Puget Sound side of the system, though.
Another Monday, another weather alert. One week ago, we reported the National Weather Service suggesting a chance of snow the following weekend – and look what happened. Tonight, a new Special Weather Statement looks ahead to tomorrow night and early Wednesday, anticipating wind gusts of at least 40 mph and up to an inch of rain. Stay tuned!
5:30 PM: Metro just announced it’s mostly returning to regular routes, with a few exceptions, which might change in the hours ahead, so we won’t list them here – check the list online. Doesn’t look like we’re in danger of the melting snow refreezing overnight, since the forecast calls for rain.
8:15 PM: And now, Metro says it’s returned to normal on all routes.
If you still haven’t been out since the record (for a February 8th) snowfall – by all accounts, including our own, major roads are clear, side streets slushy. Metro is still on snow routes. We’ll update if/when there’s something to report.
(Second batch of photos added early evening; scroll down!)
1:30 PM: An aerial view begins this collection of snow scenes shared today from around West Seattle, in addition to what’s already been featured in our coverage:
Thanks to Jamie Kinney for sharing the quad-copter production. On to the photo files – some are making snowpeople, some are making mega-snowballs, like Lola near Ercolini Park:
And this mega-snowball, texted to us from Riverview Playfield:
Also from Riverview, Kristin explains, “Here’s a close-up of our Snow Girl named Hur. She’s wearing the trimmings of our Saturday gardening efforts.”
Texted from Morgan Junction – after all the cars we’ve shown, finally a pic of a snow-capped bicycle:
Of course, the Seahawks’ Super Bowl spirit continues with a 12th Snowman – built by 7-year-old Reese Pedersen:
Husky spirit, too! From Al in Arbor Heights:
More photos from WSB readers – from Yma:
And from Patricia – “Gus the Snow Zombie.” She says, “Our boys had fun and needed a little help lifting the body parts. :-) He is 7 feet tall in North Admiral.”
Quiet beauty along Harbor Avenue, from David Hutchinson:
We expect to add at least a few more to this gallery later this afternoon- thanks to everyone who’s sent photos! (Including the ones shared on the WSB Facebook page – go have a look, including the “posts by others” section – and in a comment, the other side of the “Snow Lombardi Trophy” shown in our earlier coverage here!)
ADDED 5:53 PM: More photos! From Laura at Dragonfly Pavilion in North Delridge:
From Leighellen, sledding with a view at Hamilton Viewpoint:
Doug B shows us sledding in Seaview – here’s Andy, with leftover Seahawks hair:
Jason spotted dogsledding happening in Gatewood …
while at Myrtle’s place, Ashfur the cat was NOT sledding:
Zack‘s snowpeople were hanging out on the deck with … a cold one. Or two:
“Richard Snowman” is the creation of Gail’s son Alex, not only in honor of #25 but also, he’s celebrating his 25th birthday (and visiting from L.A.):
This next 12th Snowman (with friends) is courtesy of Brad:
And here we have Jon, Riley, Kelsey, and SuperSnowMan (photo shared by Katie):
We’re still going through the mailbox – will add more or create a different group, depending on how the night goes. Thanks again!
(SCROLL DOWN for updates including lists of what’s on/off, plus infolinks. Photos? email@example.com – thanks!)
(Live West Seattle Bridge view via SDOT)
Launching Sunday morning coverage. For starters –
*Metro buses remain on snow routes
*See where the city’s plowed/salted/de-iced recently on this map
*See West Seattle/vicinity traffic cams here
*See King County’s White Center traffic cams here
*See Saturday night coverage here; added photo gallery here
HAPPENING AS SCHEDULED/OPEN
*Hiawatha Pancake Breakfast, 8 am-noon – details here (see photo below!)
*West Seattle Ultimate Family Frisbee, per FB
*WestSide Baby Tea (2 pm at SeaTac Hilton; co-sponsored by WSB)
*West Seattle Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm; Jason reports setup is under way as of 8:24 am)
*Little Pilgrim School open house (11 am-1:30 pm)
*Quadrato open 11-8, Pizzeria 22 open at 4, as usual, per note from proprietor Cary
CLOSED/CANCELED (we’ll update this list as we get reports)
*West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) group run
*Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) is closed for brunch but expects to be open by 4 pm happy hour, 4:30 dinner
*Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation service/morning events are canceled
*Peace Lutheran Church morning worship/education canceled
*Center for Movement & Healing has canceled 10 am Nia, 11:30 am Feldenkrais
We are checking on status of today’s events – PLEASE let us know, if you’re involved with one, whether it’s on OR off – firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to reach us. More to come.
7:51 AM: In Highland Park, SW Kenyon is blocked on the hill between 9th and 5th – we are hearing that on the scanner AND just received this photo:
8:05 AM: Hiawatha Pancake Breakfast is *on*, per comments. (added) So is the WestSide Baby Tea. Keep checking the lists atop this story for other notes on what is ON, or off – we’ll be continuing to update as we get info.
8:50 AM: Subtle signs of melting snow … clumps falling off branches; drips heard in storm drains and downspouts. Clear your nearest storm drain if you can. Forecast says we MIGHT see flurries, but otherwise the warming will continue and the temperature could get into the low 40s. Monitoring the scanner, we hear police dealing with the aftermath of last night – cars blocking side streets where they slid, etc. Some hills remain closed – like SW Thistle between 35th and 37th, reports Pastor Erik Kindem from Peace Lutheran Church at 39th/Thistle in his note announcing they’re canceling morning worship/education today.
9:24 AM: From Christopher Boffoli, checking out the Hiawatha Community Center pancake breakfast for WSB:
It’s on until noon – so you have plenty of time to go have good food and good times for a good cause. Christopher also has a road report: “Some arterials are clear to wet pavement. But long stretches of California are unplowed and slushy. Some side streets are either slush or packed snow. Very slick. Hills like Oregon from Cali to the Junction are open but untreated. People are driving too fast and not leaving enough room.” (Minutes later …) And if you have to go to the airport, @nancybooks tweeted this:
@westseattleblog Auburn to SeaTac airport all good via 167/405/518. Normal speed limits, no issues. Just dicey until main roads.
— Nancy (@nancybooks) February 9, 2014
10:08 AM: Of course, it’s not all about roads. Take time to have fun, too. As is the main order of business for Joe‘s son JJ in Arbor Heights:
And this family in Admiral:
That’s one of several more photos just in from Christopher Boffoli, out and about for WSB – he noted this alternate mode of transportation:
Also from Christopher – the Farmers’ Market is indeed open for business at 44th/Alaska, until 2 pm:
And here’s his view of California SW in south Admiral:
10:46 AM: Seeing people walking along our street with sleds in tow – any safe sledding hills to recommend? Shari wonders on the WSB Facebook page. Meantime, Super Bowl memories live on in the snow at Alki – Erika sent this photo of the “Snow Lombardi Trophy”:
And an epic snowperson from T-Bone:
11:25 AM: The meltdown continues. Side streets are slushy, main roads bare and wet, clumps of wet snow keep falling off the trees/shrubs. Major event update – If you’re going to the WestSide Baby Tea (we are, and this year WSB is a co-sponsor), should be no problem getting there, says WS Baby’s Nancy Woodland:
WestSide Baby’s Annual Benefit Tea is still happening this afternoon. We are looking forward to seeing everyone! All of our staff and volunteers have made it here without incident as arterials are just fine and side streets are melting. A little snow should not keep us from helping local families in need and it will not likely be fun snow play time when the rain hits shortly as predicted.
Today 2-4:30 Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center 17620 International Blvd. [map]
We ARE opening up tickets for 30 extra seats for those who want to walk in! We’d love to have you and share a bit of WestSide Baby with you this afternoon. Just come and we’ll get you all signed up here. Tickets are $40.
We hope to see you this afternoon!!
Next up – a few other stories, a new gallery, then a p.m. post-snow update at some point.
Lynda shared the photo above from the Madison Middle School field, dubbing it “Frosty” … while Jana shared the next one from North Admiral:
Texted from Alki – another snow creation:
Ever look at a snowflake REALLY close up? Trileigh Tucker did:
Back to the snow creations – Mike shared the photo of Alki Elementary kindergartener Chloe‘s work:
Lauren, Tyler, and Alyssa sent this montage from SW Southern:
From the Junction area, Mike‘s “Sno-Hawk”:
From Admiral, Patricia‘s pastoral scene:
And from the early going – Paul shared the photo of “Jack-da-dog” in Belvidere:
As we noted in earlier coverage – the National Weather Service says this was the snowiest February 8th on record, 2.9″ at Sea-Tac. Sunday updates to come!
(First photo of tonight’s snow, from Trileigh Tucker, Lincoln Park area)
6:04 PM: Snowing here in Upper Fauntleroy – are you seeing it too? The National Weather Service’s alerts don’t stretch this far, so far – see the current ones here – its updated “forecast discussion” doesn’t think this will get past an inch. We’ll be updating.
6:34 PM: From the WSB Traffic page – where you’ll find many more cameras – that’s the camera pointing at the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct. But we hope you don’t have to go out; slippery out there already.
6:54 PM: Sticking on the road up here – the view is from a moment ago, looking east on Thistle from California. (added) From the westward view on the high bridge – note the snowy Harbor Island ramp below, on the right side:
7:20 PM: Wondering if SDOT will be out, since it’s sticking on streets? Here’s Joe‘s view from Arbor Heights
On Twitter a few minutes ago, the department said plows are standing by:
Plow operators ready if needed. Road temps fairly warm prior to sunset but will monitor surface conditions closely.
— seattledot (@seattledot) February 9, 2014
7:35 PM: Apparently some city equipment IS out and about. Cheryl reports, also via Twitter: “SDOT ice/plow trucks going both directions on the Bridge just now.”
8:01 PM: Two hours now, still hasn’t stopped. An Alki view via Twitter:
59th and Alki Ave. pic.twitter.com/9Q5RUzMeHa
— Scott M Alki Wa. (@KayakScottNW) February 9, 2014
Road conditions are increasingly dominating the discussions on the scanner; dispatchers say SDOT is definitely out and hitting arterials around the city. (Few minutes later …) checked outside, about 1″ of snow so far.
8:16 PM: Seattle Fire dispatched to a crash reported at California/Frontenac, western bottom of Gatewood Hill. Reported on scanner to be car vs. tree. And just off Delridge, two crashes reported at Orchard/Dumar. If you really, REALLY have to go out, here’s the SDOT map of where they’ve plowed recently – added to the resource links at the top of this story.
8:44 PM: Metro now says its buses are all on snow routes; find yours here. More crashes – via scanner, SPD says it’s blocking 36th/Thistle after a crash.
9 PM: David sent the clip above from California near Andover. We just did the car-hood check again – about an inch and a half here. Couple miles south of David, here’s our latest pan:
Via Twitter, KFT reports a RapidRide C Line bus got stuck downtown.
9:18 PM: The photo above was texted (206-293-6302, any time!) from south Admiral, where they’re reporting more than two inches of snow. A few blocks east, Crystal just e-mailed (email@example.com, any time!) this photo from Hiawatha:
As MetPatrick tweeted a while ago, this does seem to have an end – check out the KING5.com radar.
9:31 PM: Heavy-rescue call on the SW Genesee hill between Avalon and Delridge, at 30th SW. (Added – photo by Christopher Boffoli:)
(A few minutes later …) also 14th/Holden, car vs. street sign. And police are still trying to keep people off Orchard/Dumar/Delridge intersection & its attendant hills. Overall advice: Avoid ANY hill, arterial or side street. **UPDATE ON FLIPPED CAR** No injuries, Christopher was told at the scene.
10:24 PM: From David:
— David S. Hogan (@SeattleActorDSH) February 9, 2014
Also now a blocking crash at 9th/Roxbury. (UPDATE: 3 people hurt, per scanner.) Screengrab from SDOT map shows Roxbury hasn’t been plowed between 9th and 35th.
As for the forecast, seems the NWS finally issued a Winter Weather Advisory at 8:44 pm for this area, almost 3 hours after it started snowing, and it’s in effect until 4 am.
10:53 PM: Bonair, between North Admiral and Alki, is “blocked at the top … Car in ditch, another car in road. Police tape is up at the top of the road,” David reports via e-mail. Back to that 30th/Genesee heavy rescue on the hill east of Avalon, here’s another view from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli:
Again, the driver wasn’t hurt. Heading back from the scene, Christopher noted RapidRide buses having difficulty at 35th/Avalon:
He says neither had chains. Meantime, snow looks to be about 3″ by now.
11:08 PM: And via scanner, we hear SPD asking Metro to just stop sending buses southbound on Avalon, saying four articulated buses are stuck in that area now. Meantime, near Westwood Village, Khang tweeted about a car that got stuck and just kept getting hit – until help was rounded up. Note to those who’ve sent fun snow photos – we’re building a separate gallery and will link it here when available.
12:01 AM: The snow is now very light, and that matches the radar view.
1:34 AM: Still hearing from people re: bus woes – RapidRide in particular. No new info from Metro.
2:07 AM: National Weather Service measured 2.9″ of snow at Sea-Tac – new record for February 8th (more than 2″ over the old record, 0.4″ in 1957).
(Photographed this morning by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Right now, the only snow you’ll see around here is atop the mountains – the Olympics have been peeking out today, with more frosting than they’ve had for most of this (mostly mild) winter. But that MIGHT change next weekend. WSB commenter MetPatrick mentioned over the weekend via Twitter that lowland snow is a possibility then – and now it’s mentioned in the National Weather Service‘s newest forecast discussion, too. No watches/warnings yet – but there is no question it’s getting colder, snow or no snow, as noted in the latest version of the NWS’s Special Weather Statement. Stay tuned!
This winter hasn’t been all that wintry. But just you wait. The National Weather Service has us covered with a Special Weather Statement about temperatures dropping up to 15 degrees below normal – lows around 20 by Wednesday/Thursday – and maybe a bit of snow. See the alert here. Meantime, frequent weather commenter MetPatrick says via Twitter that the longer-range forecasts suggest a chance of real snow NEXT weekend. Still early, so don’t get too excited/concerned YET, but we’ll be tracking weather more closely in the days ahead.
Our stormy weekend hasn’t been kind to trees. The one in Benjamin Hutchinson‘s photo, above, toppled onto an Alki sidewalk overnight. Our Saturday coverage showed several cases of sizable trees or branches falling in the wind – bringing down wires in The Junction, mashing a car on 40th SW in Morgan Junction. Trees are a big part of what makes our city so beautiful – Seattle has seven times as many trees as people! – but you might wonder sometimes which one(s) are at risk in the next 45+-mph gust. We took the tree-safety question to arborist Mark Harman from longtime WSB sponsor Stonehedge Tree Experts, who is also a certified tree-risk assessor. Here’s his reply:
With these strong winds recently and the accompanying damage that may result from trees or their parts flying off or falling on your car or home, it makes one take a second look at the large trees around us. Should we be worried about the trees in our yards or the neighbors’ yard? Here is my opinion from a guy who has been working with trees for the last 30 years from Washington to Idaho.
Around here in the Seattle area, it is very unusual for a healthy tree to totally blow over. Of those trees that do blow over or those trees that lose the top part of the tree, almost all of those episodes could have been predicted if an experienced Arborist had looked closely at the tree prior to it falling apart. There are almost always signs on the tree that show its problems. Trees have “body language” – they can tell us if they are sick, hollow, rotten, twisting, failing, or tipping over. We just have to be educated to read those signs.
Every tree species has its own problems:
(SEE OUR MORNING COVERAGE by going here)
(ADDED: Top photo from south of Alki Point today, courtesy Jeff Abel Photography)
2:34 PM: Another round of strong wind is moving through, in the company of sideways rain. Earlier, the precip even fell for a while as hail, and the proof is in the photo from Christa and Jenny Hickcox, who observed, “Glad we are watching the game from home today!” There are still some who aren’t able to – after this morning’s big outage affecting about 9,000 homes and businesses in several areas of West Seattle, Seattle City Light now says it still has about 250 homes/businesses without power in more than 30 areas around its system. We know some of them are in Seaview, near Juneau west of California SW. One outage area from earlier has lingering environmental concerns:
If you missed it in our morning coverage – not that you’re likely to be hitting the beach until this calms down, but Lowman Beach is posted as “closed” after a sewage overflow during this morning’s outage. King County Wastewater Treatment sent portable generators to the Murray Pump Station there as well as to Barton in Fauntleroy to get them both back in operation. Upgraded backup-power systems are in the works for both sites.
2:56 PM: At least one vehicle in West Seattle did not fare so well:
— lux2 (@lux2) January 11, 2014
4:03 PM: Turns out that’s the first downed tree shown in our morning coverage, on 40th SW in Morgan Junction. Here’s a closer look at the vintage car totaled by the tree:
Now that the tree’s been cut up and cleared, the road is open again. Meantime, the National Weather Service thinks the wind might last a little longer – it’s extended the wind advisory to 1 am.
5:28 PM: Congratulations to the Seahawks and fans! One note – we heard from several people worried about explosions they were hearing. As Laura pointed out on Facebook, fireworks have become a post-win tradition for many, and that’s what the explosions were. Meantime, pockets of powerlessness remain, and City Light says it’s still working on dozens of small outages:
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) January 12, 2014
Sunday is likely to see lots of yard cleanup – weather permitting – with debris like what’s seen in the photo Luckie shared:
EARLY SUNDAY MORNING: Everybody in West Seattle SHOULD have power now, according to City Light’s map.
West Seattle weather: Wind alert continues; early-morning power outage peaks at almost 9,000 customersJanuary 11, 2014 at 12:43 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 94 Comments
(TOPLINE: Power went out for thousands around 4:30 am; many got it back around 6; California reopened 8:10 am in north Junction after tree/line-down trouble; outage led to overflow at Murray Pump Station on Lowman Beach)
(WSB photo from California/Genesee, taken around 7:40 am just before crews finished fixing tree-downed lines)
WEATHER REPORT, 12:43 AM: Second straight windy night, and this time there’s an official alert to go with it – the National Weather Service has a wind advisory in effect until midnight Saturday night, with the possibility of gusts up to 45 mph at times. So charge your phone and anything else battery-powered, just in case.
FIRST OUTAGE REPORT, 4:40 AM: As commenters are noting, some have just lost power. If that includes you, please call City Light to be sure they know. So far, we have heard from people in Morgan Junction, Fauntleroy, Gatewood, Arbor Heights, Marine View Drive, The Arroyos, Vashon Island; here on the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy line, we’re OK.
4:47 AM: At least 4,750 out in West Seattle, according to one Arbor Heights resident who has already called SCL. Via Twitter, the utility says at least 28,000 are out systemwide, but that’s without West Seattle on their map yet.
4:58 AM: Fire crews are at the California/Frontenac transformer fire mentioned in comments, according to the 911 log. A commenter in the White Center area mentions power’s out where he is, too. Police are closing California between Dakota and Oregon north of The Junction (map) – apparently, per radio communications, a tree has taken down wires and a power pole.
5:10 AM: While the outage isn’t on City Light’s map, an update on their website does mention two separate outages totaling almost 9,000 customers (one home/business/school/etc. = one customer) in West Seattle and points south, as well as others elsewhere.
5:35 AM: Another tree reported down – 40th blocked, says e-mail, between Morgan and Fauntleroy (map), east Morgan Junction area. Thanks to the tipster for sending this photo:
Also, an update on the California SW road closure on the north side of The Junction – it’s reported between Genesee and Oregon.
6:04 AM: Commenters in Arbor Heights, (part of) Fauntleroy, The Arroyos report the power’s back on. Meantime, South Delridge seems to have joined the outage.
6:34 AM: Two hours since the outage began. Just got word from the King County Wastewater Treatment District that its pump stations both lost power and have mobile generators – noisy, they warn (if you can hear them over the roar of the wind!):
(WSB photo of portable generator, county van @ Murray [Lowman Beach], added 8:05 am)
A strong storm overnight may have caused power outages at King County’s Barton and Murray pump stations in West Seattle.
Crews responded early Saturday morning with mobile generators to restore power at the stations, which pump wastewater to the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Employees will investigate whether the power outages led to wastewater overflows into Puget Sound.
If overflows occurred, King County will post public warning signs on the beaches, notify health and regulatory agencies, and sample water quality over the next several days.
7 AM: If you’re just waking up – some are still out of power; the City Light map has never fully reflected the WS outage in the past few hours, so don’t use it as a judge of where it’s out and where it’s not. If you wake up and find your power is out, DO call City Light to make sure they know – 206-684-7400. (added a few minutes later) You might also wake up to find trees/branches down. Just got word of another one:
Lisa says that’s the “top of a massive tree down in alley between 45th and 46th and Hill and Walker.” (map)
8:05 AM: Just back from a quick trip down California SW to The Junction. Everybody appears to have power – so your favorite coffee shop(s) are OK for your early-morning visits. The tree that came down between Oregon and Genesee was being sawed up; that section of road was still closed – let us know if you see it reopen; we’ll go back to check later, too. Also saw a City Light crew by the Solstice Park tennis courts in Fauntleroy.
8:15 AM: Per scanner, California is now reopening at the aforementioned spot. Wherever you are, go out and check for branches – we saw more than a few on some neighborhood roads during our recent jaunt.
8:57 AM: In south Morgan Junction, some lost power again. At least one business is affected – The Little Gym at California/Myrtle just reported via Facebook that it is without power. (Added: We just went down the hill to check, and the rest of that block, including Caffe Ladro, has power. Outages can be inconsistent that way!)
9:13 AM: Commenters in that general area and to the west say they’ve just been re-connected.
9:45 AM: King County says both Murray and Barton Pump Stations have their power back now, but they’ve confirmed there WAS an overflow at Murray – no details yet on how long/how much – so the beach will be posted as closed. Signs are also going up at Barton (north of Fauntleroy ferry dock) just in case.
2:02 PM: As chronicled in comments, some have since lost power – either again, or for the first time. City Light says it has only 250 people without power around its system, so if that includes you, please call to be sure they know – 206-684-7400.
A big sunspot is acting up, and that’s led to solar-storm activity, with the possibility of aurora sightings if the sky clears at all. First word came from our Skies Over West Seattle correspondent Alice Enevoldsen, and we also received tips from Mike and Mat. The best explanation is at spaceweather.com; you can also watch the Space Weather Prediction Center. According to a chart shared by Alice, the peak activity should be between about 10 pm our time tonight at 4 am tomorrow. She says it’s “worth driving out from under the clouds for.” (Unfortunately we’re not seeing anyplace cloud-free, even on the longer-range weather radar. But there’s always hope.)
(Photo added 3:07 pm, with clouds moving back in)
Noticed that the Olympic Mountains are visible today from areas of West Seattle with a west/northwest view, but it’s something of an unusual view – their peaks are barely snowcapped. In case you wondered about it too, we’re sharing the link we found, from the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles – reporting that the Olympics’ snowpack is far below normal, compared to this time last year, when it was twice normal. The PDN report says the Cascades are doing better, but not by much.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has lifted the burn ban as of 11 am, after 18 hours, noting, “Conditions can change quickly this time of year.”
Just announced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:
Due to increasingly stagnant weather conditions, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, effective at 5 p.m. on December 25, 2013. This ban remains in effect until further notice.
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
It is OK to use natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA-certified wood stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
Metro just sent the official alert: All its routes are back to normal, after hours of snow routing. The snow here has largely melted, so no surprise. The forecast says rain’s on the way for the weekend.
(SCROLL DOWN for more photos (even video) added Friday evening)
FIRST INSTALLMENT, 11:41 AM: As forecast, it’s looking like the snow will be gone in a matter of hours. But people are having fun in the meantime, and here are some of the photos sent to us to share with you! Above, Wendy photographed a waterfront snowbuilder on Alki; next, “Good thing school was delayed,” wrote CS; “Time to build snowmen to leave on our neighbor’s stoop”:
Next, Jay, Lisa, and Emily Wallace report: “We got up super early this morning and made our first snowman of the year (complete with fairy wings, magic wands and a hockey stick). Had so much fun we wanted to share”:
For some, it was just the wonder of being out in the snow for the first time – thanks to Joe Szilagyi for this photo:
Not so wondrous for the next little guy, 16-month-old Zander Smith, whose parents Nicholas Smith and Shelley Yamamoto Smith wrote, “As you can see, not everyone is a fan of the snow. One touch and he wanted to go back inside”:
Some tweeted photos of snow. From Katy:
— Katy (@bluejayway) December 20, 2013
The next photo also came from a tweet, via @Philosurfy:
Next, from Steve, who says, “Just wanted to send a pic of the 5′+ tall snowman the neighborhood kids got together to make before school this morning (near 44th and Charlestown). Talk about good use of a snow delay! Notice the celery nose – no carrots, so had to improvise. Too bad he’ll be a puddle before they get home from school”:
The school delay also meant “fun with neighbors by Lincoln Park,” as shown in Cathy‘s photo:
We found Dominic, Molly, and Lida while traveling through Westwood:
And then – it can be about the little things, like this scene found by Machel Spence in Lincoln Park:
Thanks again for the photos – both fun and functional (street conditions during the peak of the morning snow)! As for the remaining snow – watch for a mid-afternoon update with info such as bus routes, which are starting to return to normal.
ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: More scenes from our snowy morning! First, from Melanie:
Dav spotted a mysterious shape in the snow at Greg Davis Park:
Karen photographed snow coating the familiar shape of Dragonfly Pavilion along Longfellow Creek:
From Eugene – big fun for the little one:
Olivia built a snowman at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in North Admiral:
Here’s LuLu‘s bundled-up creation:
And Brad & Adi Ann shared video of their as-it-happened report:
(added) One more, from Leighellen Landskov, who says, “My boys had a blast jumping on our trampoline as it was covered in snow! It weighed the whole thing down, so they couldn’t get much air, but they sure had fun trying!”
Thanks again! This was the most snow seen here since mid-January 2012.
(KEY INFO, 11:42 AM: Seattle Public Schools 2 hours late; other school changes/closures too, all listed here … Metro starting to return to normal after a morning on snow routes … SDOT snow-response map here)
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
4:48 AM: The snow has arrived. Light coating on cars, some on the ground, but not the street, where we are. How about you? The Winter Weather Advisory for our area is now in effect until 10 am, and the forecast still says snow might continue until late morning before turning to rain. SDOT says its crews are out:
The Seattle Department of Transportation crews worked through the night treating hills and curves on snow routes with anti-icer. Bridges and overpasses have also been treated. By 3:30 a.m. light snowfall began at various locations around the city with no accumulations. At 4 a.m. the department dispatched 21 trucks equipped with plows and salt to patrol city streets in advance of the morning commute.
(SDOT cam at Fauntleroy/Alaska; more cameras here)
5:08 AM: It’s starting to stick on the road. (Remember the city maps plowed/de-iced routes here.) King County just announced the Vashon Water Taxi is canceled for today (which at the very least will affect buses from the Fauntleroy ferry area as commuters come in via WSF instead).
(Thanks to Richard for tweeting that photo from Delridge/Andover)
5:34 AM: Just in from Seattle Public Schools – “2 Hours Late, No Headstart, no AM or PM kindergarten/preschool, Buses on snow routes.” (And today’s 1-hour early release is still in the plan, too.) We are listing ALL area school changes/closures of note here, and you will find that link as well as other key links/toplines at the very top of this story.
6 AM: Metro has just announced ALL buses are on snow routes TFN. We also just got a text from a 21 rider saying her/his bus is stuck on the West Seattle Bridge eastbound on-ramp. Meantime, Highline Public Schools (White Center and points south) just announced it’s CLOSED; adding that to the school-info page. We are getting private-school reports now too (please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 206-293-6302).
6:29 AM: More school delays/closures – Hope Lutheran, Our Lady of Guadalupe, (added later) West Seattle Montessori are closed, Seattle Lutheran, Westside, Explorer West, Holy Rosary, South Seattle Community College all starting late – details here. Traffic note: Spinout crash on the southbound 1st Avenue South bridge; 21 bus reported to still be stuck on its onramp to the West Seattle Bridge (update: a few minutes later, “broke free,” reports Luke on board).
6:57 AM: Again, all Metro buses are now on snow routes, but some are still getting into trouble – from comments, a 21X is now reported stuck at 100th/44th in Arbor Heights.
7:15 AM: Thanks to Greg for that photo from 55th/Alki. We shared via Instagram a quick clip of conditions at Thistle/California as of 7 am – see it here. Meantime, if you have Friday trash pickup, Waste Management says there are some delays today but if they do NOT get to you today, they will “collect your regular amount of recycling, garbage and food and yard waste” tomorrow (Saturday, December 21st).
7:49 AM: Sue just sent word of a spinout crash on 4th Ave. S. under the bridge at S. Spokane. Roads in SODO are bare and wet, judging by this traffic cam further north on 4th. Also, just noticed when going back out that the snow is quick to turn to sloppy slush after it’s been walked on – so this does seem likely to be short-lived. So get out and build a snowperson if you can – here’s a 4 1/2-foot one just built by the “Bear boys” in Arbor Heights:
Back to traffic – a reminder and report from Cathy:
Please let people know to slow down approaching the “S” curves south of the 4800 block of W Marginal Way. Accident in the SB lanes (at least two vehicles that I could see) and I think SB traffic was being diverted to the two way turn lane. Officer(s) on site, but not many are slowing down approaching the accident despite the police flashers being on. There’s a lot of slush on the road here, and hoping you can get people to slow down before we start witnessing the yearly sight of cars flying out of the curves.
8:27 AM: From comments, multiple reports of a bus blocking the Olson/1st/etc. onramp to northbound 509. Meantime, SDOT continues working on roads; Pam reports from Gatewood that a snowplow’s been seen on SW Holden. We photographed one headed eastbound on Thistle past 42nd:
Also, in case you were wondering – roads are bare and wet in The Junction, as we go into one of the last few shopping days before Christmas:
Reminder that some schools are starting late – so the roads are going to get busier in the next hour and a half or so, in school zones. All the school closures/changes we have are listed here.
9:19 AM: And some photos on the ground from the Junction vicinity, from WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli. Crossing SW Oregon:
Junction Plaza Park on SW Alaska:
And California SW:
Thanks also to everyone who’s sent/sending fun photos – we’ll be building a gallery with those next, after transitioning out of this traffic/schools/etc. report, plus we have a couple non-snow stories to share.
11:16 AM NOTE: Some Metro routes are returning to normal. Meantime, the Vashon Water Taxi will be running again this afternoon.
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