West Seattle, Washington
Last Friday night, some in our area were cleaning up after a few hours of tree-toppling wind; tonight, nothing more serious than beautiful sights to share. Above – thanks to the Arbor Heights texter who sent the rainbow photo! Below – thanks to Gary Gates, who often shares sunset sights via Twitter:
— Gary Gates (@DrGaryJGates) October 22, 2016
As for tomorrow – good news is that the day starts with a “partly sunny” forecast, which is great news considering everything that’s on the calendar, including the Duwamish Alive! and Denny IMS Garden work parties.
(TO SEE OUR SATURDAY AFTERNOON COVERAGE, go here)
In case you missed the Periscope. Wind & waves. Downpour now, too. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/wBweq5fywq
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 16, 2016
(Our Twitter video from Emma Schmitz Viewpoint as the wind and waves kicked up before dusk)>
6:46 PM: The wind has arrived, and some big rain has too. We’ve just been out in it, starting in Delridge before sunset (checking on sandbag supplies at the Community Center – plenty now), then heading toward Beach Drive, where Seattle Fire was checking on boarders and kayakers (everyone accounted for), and stormwatchers were at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint. (added) Here’s a photo from Greg, with an overview of Constellation Park at about the same time, a mile north of Emma Schmitz:
It’s nasty out there in some areas – Arbor Heights was getting walloped while we were checking on something else. Now is definitely the time to stay home. We’re back at HQ, for now, to track storm effects through the night.
7:15 PM: Sounds a little calmer out there right now. Just a few scattered, small power outages in West Seattle so far (here’s the City Light map) – including the one Amber mentioned in comments, six customers in Puget Ridge.
7:43 PM: Via Twitter, the National Weather Service is cautiously saying that seems to have been the worst of it:
The threat for strongest winds –over northern areas, not metro area. The storm track does not favor Seattle area for damaging winds. #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 16, 2016
The next of the NWS’s four-times-a-day “forecast discussions” should be out within an hour and a half or so, for the latest on whether we can all stand down and get back to regular fall weather. One thing that escaped attention because of the wind worries, Friday set a rainfall record for October 14th in Seattle, 1.36 inches, almost twice the previous record (.77 in 1990). At the midpoint of October, the month has almost triple its average rainfall, 4.43 inches through yesterday (1.11 is “normal”).
9:04 PM: Just back from a north-to-south tour and … definitely not stormy. The rain returned a few minutes ago, not too intense, though. And to underscore it, the National Weather Service has canceled the “high wind warning” and swapped it for a lower-level “wind advisory” through early am. Meantime, we’ve received some great videos and photos from the brief burst of stormy weather earlier:
Time lapse, from Ethan Owens:
Waves at Constellation Park, from Scott Krager:
Seattle Fire crew off Beach Drive checking on boarders/kayakers, photo by Erik Bell:
Kerriann Gill caught the storm rolling in:
— Kerriann Gill (@kerrikgill) October 16, 2016
(added) Texted to us – this clip of a sailboarder trying to get out of the water at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint:
9:58 PM: And here’s the NWS “forecast discussion” looking ahead. The next few days are expected to be showery but nothing like the record-setting rain of the past few days.
(FOR EVENING COVERAGE, go here)
1:03 PM: Storm-related updates as of early afternoon:
NEWEST FORECAST: Weather watchers have pulled back a BIT from the dire “possibly historic windstorm” warnings but NOT from the forecast of strong wind in general. The mid-morning National Weather Service “forecast discussion” says the big wind is most likely “late afternoon/evening.” (3:03 pm note – NWS says the wind will pick up within next 2 hours or so.)
STORM DAMAGE: Trees are still the major problem. No new big ones down so far as we have heard today, but this one was blocking the sidewalk and bike lane on the north side of Admiral west of 51st SW earlier:
That was SDOT arriving just as we were photographing it. Again, saturated ground + strong wind = tree trouble so stay out of forested parks. If a tree blocks a road/sidewalk, notify SDOT: 206-386-1218, and if you can’t get them, call 911.
TREE INJURY UPDATE: We’ve been asked about the 4-year-old boy and his dad injured by a tree branch in Fauntleroy on Friday afternoon (as covered here). A family friend tells us she’s visited them and the prognosis for the little boy, most seriously hurt, is “optimistic.”
SANDBAGS: Delridge Community Center is out again as of this writing, and South Park Community Center does not have many left. We asked Seattle Public Utilities for a supply update, and they say that the four locations around the city are expected to be resupplied sometime today. We’re told Delridge is expecting about 700 sandbags around (updated) 3:30 pm. If you need some, please only take what you need, 25 maximum, as requested in this city infosheet. (4 pm update – Sandbags have arrived)
WEATHER-RELATED CANCELLATIONS: As first noted in our daily preview (where we’re also updating the list):
*Chief Sealth IHS homecoming dance
*Hate-Free Delridge vigil
*Highland Park Improvement Club Harvest Dinner
*Lions Club Oktoberfest dinner
*Mutts & Martinis “Yappy Hour”
*Solstice P-Patch Harvest Festival
*YMCA women’s swim
Any others? Please comment, or e-mail us – thank you – and thanks in advance for sharing storm-related updates from wherever you are. Fastest way to get something to us, if happening now, is our 24/7 hotline – 206-293-6302 – please consider adding it to your phone list.
ADDED 1:46 PM: Seattle Public Library will close all its branches at 2:30 pm today.
ADDED 3:03 PM: Texter reports an Xfinity (Comcast) outage on Genesee Hill.
ADDED 3:44 PM: The new “forecast discussion” is out – key quote:
Models are slightly slower with the timing of the low moving onshore but overall things are on track for a few hours of very windy weather late this afternoon or this evening for most of the area. The latest thinking is the strongest winds will be coast and north interior, closest to the low track. High winds are still likely elsewhere but probably not as strong and a bit more spotty. The interior from Seattle south probably won`t get much if any true high wind but with leaves on the trees impacts will probably be similar to high winds in the winter.
Also of note right now – one-car crash on the westbound West Seattle Bridge east of the Fauntleroy exit, one lane blocked.
5:42 PM: Still in waiting mode. Weather analyst Cliff Mass thinks the strongest winds in the Seattle area are more likely 7-9 pm, but also says – as did the NWS – that this is no longer going to be a particularly huge storm.
6:02 PM: Out checking on a couple things: SFD boats off to see about a possible boarder in distress off 4500 block Beach Drive. And possible wires down in Arbor Heights, 40th/106th.
7 PM: Both of those situations have since been resolved, and we have launched an evening report here.
5:55 PM: Continuing our ongoing storm coverage into the evening (see our afternoon coverage here) – first, thanks for the tips about this tree-caused blockage:
That’s Nick‘s photo of tree(s) down on 48th SW between Seaview and Lowman Beach. (If you are in the area, please let us know if/when you see it reopen – we might not be able to get down that way for a while.)
More tree trouble – from Charlie, at 33rd SW and SW Spokane in East Admiral:
Charlie says, “A large tree snapped at about 4pm at the corner of 33rd Ave SW and SW Spokane St, right at the corner of the new development going on. Likely because they’ve cut down all the other trees which protected it in prior storms. The tree is now hanging on the power lines (which is the only thing keeping it up). I’ve already called both SCL and SDOT (since when it falls it will block the roadway). A lot of people tend to shortcut through this neighborhood – please don’t – the tree could fall at any moment and land on a car or pedestrian.” (This is the same site shown in our morning traffic/weather coverage because of muddy runoff.)
And near 46th SW and SW Charlestown, MT reports this:
“Homeowner stated he was home at around 2 pm. When branch broke, bounced off his roof. Big fear is tomorrow more of the tree will come down on his home.”
No photo, but while traveling northbound on Delridge a couple hours ago, we noticed a tree down outside a house just north of Pearls.
POWER OUTAGES: Seattle City Light’s map still shows almost 3,000 homes/businesses without power, down a third from the original number who lost it. As reported in our afternoon coverage, the west side of California SW is out in The Junction, so some businesses are closed; the east side remained on. And we’re told the signal at California/Alaska is now functioning.If you want to check the current status of outages around West Seattle and the rest of the city “live,” City Light shared this version of their map with us – zoom in to get close, and grab the map with your cursor to move around:
6:09 PM UPDATE: Multiple tweets say power’s back in The Junction. Waiting for the SCL map to reflect it. Some businesses might just stay closed for the night on the west side, though (Junction TrueValue, for example, told us that was their plan), so if you’re heading out, be ready to improvise.
6:19 PM UPDATE – THE FORECAST: Before we get to more photos (thank you to everyone sharing photos and video!), here’s where the forecast stands. A High Wind Warning remains in effect for 3 pm Saturday to 2 am Sunday. Excerpt:
* TIMING…GUSTY SOUTH WINDS THIS AFTERNOON WILL EASE THIS EVENING. A PERIOD OF STRONGER WINDS IS EXPECTED LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THE EARLY MORNING HOURS SUNDAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL LIKELY BE DURING THE EVENING.
* WINDS…SOUTH WINDS 20 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH WILL EASE THIS EVENING. SOUTH WINDS 20 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 65 MPH ARE LIKELY LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.
7:23 PM UPDATE: Looks like West Seattle is down to a few scattered outages affecting ~120 customers. We are now at SW Athletic Complex in Westwood for the Chief Sealth-WSHS football game and the weather has calmed – a little showery, a little breezy, nothing at all like this afternoon. The almost-full moon is even starting to peek from behind clouds in the eastern sky.
7:37 PM: Adding some contributed imagery from a bit earlier. First, Jamie Kinney tweeted this video of pre-dusk storminess:
— Jamie Kinney (@jamiekinney) October 15, 2016
7:43 PM: 48th SW is reported to be open again. Meantime, thanks to Jen Lee for the photo from Constellation Park during this afternoon’s confluence of big wind and high tide:
One more time – if you’re on the shore or preparing to be, be aware of the full-moon high tides ahead as more high wind heads this way – the times and numbers are here.
ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: One more toppled tree we almost missed in the mailbox – thanks to Rod Moody for this pic from 47th/Brandon:
With saturated ground and potentially higher gusts, we could see more of this later today. Forested parks are a good place to avoid until the weather calms.
(SCROLL DOWN for newest updates and photos)
1:43 PM: Just getting word of the first significant power outages in West Seattle so far this blustery day – west of The Junction, North Admiral, and the City Light map also shows two other outages – 117 customers near Lincoln Park and 72 customers in Highland Park. (If your outage is NOT on the map, please call SCL at 206-684-3000!)
UPDATED, 1:53 PM: Now the SCL map has updated. We’re adding a screengrab. “Tree” is the listed cause. More than 4,000 customers are out in West Seattle. Also, Seattle Fire is at 44th and Rose in Gatewood, where a tree fell into a transformer/power line – thanks for the texted photo:
(back to original report) All this follows hours of off-and-on gusty winds – we caught some on video a little while ago:
Wind tousling trees in Gateleroy. pic.twitter.com/ZcDSvsFW6Y
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 14, 2016
TIDE REMINDER, IF YOU MISSED IT: Busy news day so you might not have seen this, but high tides are coinciding with the strong wind because of tomorrow’s full moon.
(Texted photo added above – Beach Drive this afternoon. Thanks to Craig Joseph for sharing it!) Speaking of which …
NEED SANDBAGS? The Delridge Community Center is out of them but expecting more later today. If you need them urgently, try the South Park Community Center.
2:22 PM: A commenter says Delridge has sandbags now. Meantime, a father and 4-year-old son are being taken to the hospital after being hit by a falling tree branch near Fauntleroy Church (which abuts forested Fauntleroy Park). We got to the scene just as the child was about to be transported to Harborview; his father is still being evaluated.
Too soon for information on the circumstances – we will update when we find out more.
3:13 PM: SFD describes the child’s injuries as serious, the father’s injuries as minor.
(added Friday evening) Fauntleroy Church minister Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski sent this statement:
I was very sad today to learn about the father and son struck by a tree near Fauntleroy Church. As concerned community members, we will be working with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to better understand the incident, but our primary concern right now is for the family involved in this accident. They are YMCA patrons and neighbors, and our hearts go out to them.
As I was away from the church today, I also wish to say a big “thank you” to the church and Y staff and community members who quickly responded to offer help and care until emergency personnel could arrive.
(back to previous coverage) Meantime, regarding the power outage – we’re getting multiple reports that traffic signals are out in The Junction, though the outage is only affecting the west side of the street. We’re headed that way for an update.
3:46 PM: Thanks for the updates. About a third of those who were out now have their power back, Admiral/North according to the map. We’re still working our way to The Junction. Meantime, a falling branch seems to have played a role in a crash on eastbound Olson, blocking the turn to southbound Myers.
No injuries as far as we can tell – SFD was not called for medical assistance.
4:11 PM: We just stopped by The Junction. California/Alaska signal is indeed out. And businesses on the west side of the street are still without power, many with handwritten “closed/power out” signs.
Further north, a big problem hasn’t been fixed yet at Hinds/47th – this power-pole problem:
Thanks to everyone who sent photos earlier. This is near Madison Middle School, which has a fire-alarm call right now – don’t know if it’s related. We can hear the alarm from where we’re checking out the power pole situation.
ADDED 4:47 PM: If you’re just getting ready to leave for home .. it’s partly sunny over here, still breezy.
5:07 PM: Regarding the sirens and emergency vehicles – it’s for a possible rescue which we’re covering separately.
Also, tomorrow’s weather alert is now up to High Wind Warning status, 3 pm Saturday-2 am Sunday. We’ll get a separate evening weather story going after our coverage of the potential rescue.
We’ve been talking about wind and rain, but there’s one more complicating factor, as Maya Sears e-mailed us to point out (thank you!) – high tides. With the full moon tomorrow, they are at the high end of the high-tide spectrum, and as she points out, they “could not be any worse for the weather that is forecast!” She provides the next five peaks, from the NOAA website:
Friday 4:11 pm 11.64
Saturday 4:44 am 10.77
Saturday 4:45 pm 11.9
Sunday 5:36 am 11.35
Sunday 5:22 pm 12.02
We also have a tide chart on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:43 AM: The weather didn’t cause much trouble overnight (here are our notes). But the rain has resumed and it’s going to be a messy commute. First evidence, Meg just tweeted: “The onramp to the bridge from Avalon (EB) is FULL of water. Bus had to slow way down. Yikes!”
As we’ve been mentioning all week, no classes today for Seattle Public Schools – a long-planned staff-development day – so that will lessen traffic somewhat.
7:43 AM: The only problems we keep hearing about: Water, water, water. We’ll be heading out shortly now that there’s some daylight.
8:30 AM: So far, we’ve been down Fauntleroy, Avalon, Harbor, Alki. Not much traffic, and a break in the rain seems to have helped with the drainage. It just started up again, though, and there’s no shortage of storminess to the west:
Looking NW from Duwamish Head. pic.twitter.com/ErcanfkSyH
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 14, 2016
9:06 AM: While out, we also looked into the muddy runoff coming downhill on Manning toward the Admiral/Avalon/etc. intersection. It’s from the site recently cleared for the 14-house 3601 Fauntleroy Avenue subdivision:
Seattle Public Utilities was on site when we went by. Drainage was one of the concerns neighbors of this site raised in an appeal that was settled before going to a hearing.
2 AM: So far, breezy but not catastrophically windy in West Seattle. Checking City Light’s map, we notice about 3,700 customers (homes/businesses) lost power about 15 minutes ago in parts of Burien and North Highline southeast of White Center, but nothing up here.
4:15 AM: That outage is over, according to the SCL map. Meantime, a traffic note: A crash is blocking the right lane of the eastbound bridge near the curve past the Fauntleroy entrance, according to SDOT. (Thanks to the texter who pointed it out.)
As for the weather, archived observations show some gusts in the 20s around here but nothing huge. The NWS’s newest forecast discussion says it’ll be a windy, rainy day overall, and that Saturday night still could bring “a major windstorm.”
5:31 AM The bridge crash has cleared.
(UPDATED 9:16 PM with change in first storm’s timing – scroll down)
4:58 PM: Here’s the newest update from the National Weather Service about what’s headed this way late tonight:
The High Wind Warning for tonight remains scheduled for 6 pm-7 am, though the wind isn’t due until hours after the warning kicks in.
The National Weather Service also has added a High Wind Watch (which is one level below a “warning” but that’s because it’s further away time-wise) for noon Saturday to 3 am Sunday.
The major change in the forecast so far is that tonight’s wind could continue longer into Friday morning than first thought. Again, we’ll be on duty all night and into the morning with weather coverage. If there’s trouble where you are, once you’re safe and know it’s been reported to authorities, please let us know – text or voice, 206-293-6302 is the best way.
Speaking of phone numbers, save these:
CITY LIGHT, REPORT AN OUTAGE: 206-684-3000
SDOT, REPORT AN EMERGENCY ROAD HAZARD: 206-386-1218
ADDED 6:21 PM: Mayor Murray called a news conference late today that was billed as an update on city preps for the storm but spent more time on the encampment legislation. It just wrapped up; we monitored it via live stream and will have a separate story on what’s new with that issue, but in the meantime, one point made by the mayor: Once the wind picks up, stay out of city parks, because of tree danger. Most parks are technically closed during the hours the wind is supposed to be at its worst anyway. Also, Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre mentioned that grass playfields citywide are closed because of the rain. The mayor says the city is planning to open its Emergency Operations Center early tomorrow to coordinate whatever storm response is needed, and that SPD and SFD already have extra personnel called in and on standby, in addition to the utility crews you’d expect.
ADDED 9:16 PM: The storm has slowed its approach, we’re told. And this from the NWS:
As model data streams in, it appears Puget Sound could see 2 bursts of high wind on Fri: early AM & again in afternoon. Stay tuned. #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 14, 2016
Here’s a 4-point update from the National Weather Service:
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 13, 2016
No wind so far today – just rain. The alerts remain:
The National Weather Service has just raised the storm-alert level again – this time, to a High Wind Warning for 6 pm Thursday through 7 am Friday. Read it here. Sustained wind will be up to 30 mph, from the south, switching to the southwest, with gusts possible to 55 mph. And this is just the *first* storm – the one expected this weekend could be even windier – so get ready, just in case. More to come…
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:01 PM TUESDAY: The National Weather Service now has an official “special weather statement” for our area, warning of multiple storm systems headed this way – first, lots of rain starting Wednesday night; then, potentially, lots of wind this weekend. Read the alert here. Forecasts can and do change, but at least take this as a reminder to get your fall/winter preparations in place – batteries, flashlights, and other things you might need if the power goes out. Updates as the week goes on!
10:19 PM: The newest “forecast discussion” from the NWS is out and the storms are still on the way. Higher-level alerts, such as a wind watch, could be issued as soon as tomorrow.
7:17 AM WEDNESDAY: And indeed, a High Wind Watch was issued early this morning. See it here. The NWS says the wind could get up to 35 mph sustained, 55 mph gusts, in our area Thursday night-Friday morning.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: We have a new update up here – the alert has been raised to a high-wind warning.
Thanks to Jamie Kinney for the photo of the sculpted sky during tonight’s sunset less than an hour ago; you might have missed if you were among the estimated 100,000,000 people watching The Debate. We got to see it while out checking on an unrelated reader tip, but our phone photo does not compare. Forecast says those clouds might bring in a bit of rain tomorrow morning.
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
The first sunset of autumn brought about 40 people to West Seattle’s Solstice Park to watch with, and learn from, NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen.
Though a cloud bank got in the way of checking the alignment with the park’s equinox marker, the weather never gets in the way of Alice’s interactive lesson about the Earth’s position, and its relationship with the Sun, at the change of seasons:
Special guest at tonight’s sunset watch … Ida, born to Alice and husband Jason five weeks ago:
This was Alice’s 30th quarterly sunset watch, by the way. Watch here for word of her 31st, when winter solstice approaches in December.
6:19 PM: Though it’s been windier today than we’ve seen in a while, we haven’t had any reports of trees downed or other trouble on the peninsula – but someone just texted the photo above to report that a sailboat appears to be on its way to grounding on Lincoln Park’s north shore. Just in case it’s yours – or you know whose it is – we’re sharing the photo. They say the one in the background doesn’t seem to be dragging its anchor, just the one in the foreground.
9 PM UPDATE: The original texter says no one’s come for the boat yet and it’s headed for the rocks.
Thanks to Robert Spears (above) and Kanit in Gatewood (below) for sharing photos from tonight’s sunset, the most vivid of the week.
The intense color is from wildfire smoke from the Olympic Peninsula, where four fires continue to burn, according to this update, all blamed on July 21st lightning strikes. Moments after tonight’s sunset, at 8 pm, the National Weather Service “heat advisory” officially expired, after another record-setting day (92 was the high at Sea-Tac Airport, highest on record for this date), and tomorrow’s high is expected to be in the 70s, which is also good for keeping the wildfires from growing.
Thanks to JayDee (above) and James Bratsanos (below) for the views of tonight’s sunset with smoke from the wildfires on the Olympic Peninsula.
Here’s the (updated) latest fire information. As for the weather here in West Seattle – the National Weather Service‘s “heat advisory” remains in effect until 8 pm Friday; tomorrow’s high is expected to be in the low 90s again – today’s high of 91 degrees at Sea-Tac broke the record for this date, which was 87 degrees in 1982.
7:46 PM: The weather these next few days isn’t going to make things any better for the fires on the Olympic Peninsula, and unless you love hot weather, it won’t be that pleasant down here either. The National Weather Service has a “heat advisory” in effect for noon Thursday through 8 pm Friday, and is expecting high temperatures the next two days might reach into the low 90s.
8:29 PM: Thanks to John Dexter for the photo from North Admiral, showing what the smoke plume looked like at sunset.
Thanks to James Bratsanos for the smoky sunset photo – as noted here last night, four wildfires are burning on the Olympic Peninsula, all ignited weeks ago (here’s the newest information). Here in the city, conditions are improving – as of minutes ago, the “excessive heat warning” is officially over as scheduled, and tomorrow’s forecast is still for a high in the 70s, much closer to normal for this part of the summer.
Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo (and to Terry Burns for sending one too) – wildfire smoke from the Olympic Peninsula was clearly visible at sunset. While looking at tonight’s sunset, noticed what appears to be smoke from a fire in Olympic NP. David sent this link, where an update from yesterday says, “There are currently four small, lightning-caused fires burning in the Olympic National Park wilderness. Although there is no threat to visitor safety or facilities at this time, smoke may be visible. ‘Red flag’ conditions are expected for the next several days.” The Peninsula Daily News has a story from this afternoon with a few more details. The southernmost of those four fires is the Ignar Creek Fire, which looks like it might be in the right spot to generate what was seen here.
WEDNESDAY REPORT: The heat alert from the National Weather Service has jumped to the next level – now it’s an “excessive heat warning,” 2 pm tomorrow through 9 pm Saturday. Tomorrow could reach the low 90s, with mid-90s possible Friday and Saturday; read the full alert here – and please note this line: “Never leave children, pets, or the elderly unattended in a parked vehicle under any circumstances.”
SATURDAY NOTE: The forecast is still calling for a major cooldown on Sunday, you’ll probably be happy to hear – high in the 70s. Then very-warm weather is forecast to return Friday (August 26th), with sunshine and 80s on Saturday (August 27th) in time for the West Seattle Car Show!
ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: You’ve heard that hot weather’s on the way – now the National Weather Service has announced an “Excessive Heat Watch” alert for Thursday-Saturday. The NWS warns that the high temperatures those days are expected to be in the upper 80s to mid-90s, and that could be a health risk for some. Read the full text of the alert here. (The official highest temperature at Sea-Tac so far this year is 93 degrees back on June 5th.)
WEDNESDAY MORNING NOTE: We checked – the alert’s still in effect, same time/temp frame.