FIRST REPORT, 6:58 AM: First, the National Weather Service canceled the “special weather statement” that had been up for our area. But now, early this morning, a new weather alert was announced, a “wind advisory” from 3 pm today until 6 am Sunday. See it here. The NWS says the strongest winds are expected this evening, out of the southwest, with gusts possibly up to 45-50 mph.
10 AM UPDATE: The time frame is moved back a bit: 6 pm tonight to 6 am tomorrow. Charge everything now, just in case!
Look what’s back! Gary Jones shares the photo of snow on the Olympic Mountains, first major sighting from West Seattle this fall. Other weather news: The “special weather statement” suggesting possibly strong wind tomorrow has been dropped. Areas east of Seattle are under a wind advisory for tonight/tomorrow, but the forecast for our area is now back down to just rainy and breezy through Saturday night. For Sunday’s West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival (next big preview later tonight), things still look calmer still – cloudy with only a chance of showers.
(Added 4:42 pm: Rainbow this afternoon, photographed by Julie)
3:39 PM: Weather experts (like West Seattleite @MetPatrick22) have been watching this for some days – and now the National Weather Service has issued a formal alert, in the form of a “special weather statement”: Looks like it’s going to get windy on Saturday. At this point, gusts aren’t expected past 45 mph, but they’re watching closely. Here’s the full text of the alert.
4:11 PM: Again, that’s just for the weekend, but things are a little crazy right now – burst of hail followed by major downpour.
Sunbreaks can strike at the most surprising times. So in case somehow the partial solar eclipse tomorrow afternoon becomes visible, you want to be prepared. For the past three days, Alice Enevoldsen of Alice’s Astro Info and Skies Over West Seattle fame has helped West Seattleites do just that, with pre-eclipse events at local Seattle Public Library branches. This afternoon, Alice was at Delridge Library coaching prospective eclipse-watchers through the creation of pinhole viewers (so you can experience the eclipse without damaging your eyes by looking at the sun). The photo was shared by the family of Raina (at center, with Alice at left and Chrissy the librarian at right). But even if the sun doesn’t make it through the clouds here, you’ll be able to check out the eclipse through webcasts.
Thanks to Carolyn Newman for sharing the beautiful photo from just before tonight’s sunset – she said it’s the first time she’d seen anything like that in 40 years of living on Harbor Avenue!
(Photo tweeted by Patrick Gerding, looking this way from Vashon ferry)
6:28 PM: We’re not seeing it in the forecast, but that is most definitely thunder rolling through – and lightning. No short-term alerts, either. Rainbows earlier, though!
7:02 PM: Seems to have quieted down. “Low level instability,” explains MetPatrick, via Twitter. Meantime, thanks for more photos from the sky sights before sunset – dark clouds behind the gleaming skyline, in this photo from Melody in Admiral:
The second rainbow seemed to emerge from the base of the main rainbow, in an unusual “V” configuration, as you can see in this photo from Russ:
7:11 PM: The National Weather Service, whose forecasts hadn’t mentioned thunderstorms, just tweeted: “Line of heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms from Sea-Tac to east of Enumclaw will move SE and weaken in the next hour.”
7:37 PM: The photo above is from Lise in High Point. In comments, Emily offers an explanation.
7:54 PM: One more rainbow view:
Don Brubeck caught that angle from Alki. Looking ahead in the forecast – Monday looks very rainy – get those storm drains cleared of leaves before the weekend’s out!
Two beautiful views to share tonight: Above, James Bratsanos‘ photo of tonight’s colorful sunset; below, Long Bach Nguyen‘s view of West Seattle after dark, photographed last night:
Thank you to both for allowing us to share these images!
ADDED: Moksha shared a panoramic view of the sunset that we just have to add:
As of 22 minutes ago, autumn has arrived! Above, our quick Instagram clip of Alice Enevoldsen talking astronomy and weather with the youngest attendees at her Solstice Park sunset watch – 22nd time she has led an equinox/solstice watch! (added) As usual, she brought a planetary prop:
Sometimes, the littlest detail attracts attention – like the armband with her name:
Color streaked the sky as Alice explained where the sun lines up for the equinox:
She answered a variety of questions, not just about the equinox – for example, she was asked questions about the official times of sunset and sunrise and how they’re determined – locally, for example, they don’t seem to take the Olympics into account, so she points out the sun usual disappears behind the mountains about ten minutes before the listed sunset moment. Between sunset watches, Alice writes about other astronomy news on her site AlicesAstroInfo.com, and every month or so, she writes a new edition of “Skies Over West Seattle” for WSB.
SUNSET, FROM ELSEWHERE IN WEST SEATTLE: Below, James Bratsanos shared the full-strength sunset view we didn’t quite get from Solstice Park (where the sun sets behind Lincoln Park’s beautiful forest this time of year):
(added) A few more sunset views have since come in:
(Photo copyright 2014, Eric Shalit/Box Turtle Design)
From John Bartell at Brace Point:
P.S. Looks like rain’s in store for the first day of fall.
(Photo by Greg)
Thanks to everyone who shared photos from tonight’s sunset. In addition to publishing a few for starters (and we’ll likely add to them later), here’s one more reminder that you are invited to watch TOMORROW’s sunset, minutes before the fall equinox arrives, with “Skies Over West Seattle” correspondent Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park – details here. Now, back to tonight’s showstopping sunset:
(Photo by Chris Frankovich)
The fiery pink intensified as the sun disappeared behind the Olympics:
(Photo by James Bratsanos)
The forecast suggests tomorrow’s sunset won’t be much like this one, but we hope to see you at Solstice Park anyway (if you haven’t already followed the link, note that Alice plans bonus info, including next month’s partial solar eclipse and the MAVEN Mars mission).
9:39 PM: Lots of questions about whether we have a chance of Northern Lights tonight, after their more-or-less no-show last night. Short answer seems to be “probably not.” We’re working late as usual and if that changes – we’ll update here.
But another sight in the sky has people abuzz from British Columbia to California – what’s believed to have been a meteor, streaking across the sky around 8:20 pm. We received one note even before noting the chatter on social media; Karen e-mailed to say, “Did you see that huge green meteor about five minutes ago? We just happened to be at the window as it came down.. have never seen one that big.” Anybody else? We’re looking around for images and info, and will update.
10:08 PM: We’ve put quotes around “meteor” since nobody is certain yet what it was – could also have been re-entering “space junk.” If you saw it, you can report it to the American Meteor Society (go here); its website shows the reports that have come in so far.
8:47 PM: It’s often the clouds that make a sunset spectacular … even if they seem ominous. Our somewhat stormy evening brought dark-cloud views in two directions – above, Jacqueline’s photo looking westward; below, Lise’s photo looking to the northeast:
Thanks for sharing!
9:28 PM: We should mention, these clouds brought big rain to some other parts of the area. And even more beautiful sights here – Mark Dale has shared this:
Newest forecast says clearer, warmer weather will return, so summer’s not quite done yet.
9:50 PM: And shortly after we updated … the rain began here, in earnest, as you are probably well aware!
(Photo by Christopher Frankovich)
9:18 PM: As predicted, thunderstorms have arrived – coming up from the south/southeast right now, and you might even have seen lightning over downtown already. This follows a record-setting high temperature today, 96 degrees (it was still 85 at 9 pm). The thunderstorms are expected to stay in the area through at least tomorrow.
10:42 PM UPDATE: Rain arrived with the most recent cell. Also a reminder … we had one short-lived lost pet report, a dog spooked by the thunder and lightning, so make sure your pet is extra-safe. Meantime, just received, and added, an excellent lightning photo from West Seattle photographer Christopher Frankovich - thanks!
11:04 PM NOTE: And in case you’ve noticed this too – yes, that’s aircraft heading westward, likely because of the weather, in a different pattern than usual this time of night.
1:24 AM: Thanks also to Doug B for sharing a view of a bolt spotted from Hamilton Viewpoint in North Admiral. Things have calmed down since our last update – the air traffic shifted away, no further thundershowers – but they remain in the forecast for today (Tuesday) as of a late-evening update.
(From Harbor Avenue: Photo by David Hutchinson)
As Space.com put it, Sunday night’s full moon was the “superest supermoon” of the year – the closest one to Earth this year.
(Photo by Jim Clark)
Next month’s full moon (September 8th) will be almost as close.
(Photo by Craig Young)
As Alice Enevoldsen writes in the newest edition of “Skies Over West Seattle,” it’s only one of this week’s attractions for skygazers.
(Photo by Carolyn Newman)
How close *was* the moon, you ask? 221,765 miles. Or so. This calculator puts it a bit farther away.
Thanks for the sunset photos, concluding a day that started with a “sun-derstorm”! Top, from Greg; next, from David Schneider.
More in the works.
ADDED 11:07 PM: From Kevin Callahan:
(Those are the “crepuscular rays.”) From “Seattletimebandit,” who noted, “Wires or not, still spectacular”:
And from Michelle Riggen-Ransom, a wider view with the aforementioned crepuscular rays:
8:02 AM: If you didn’t hear the thunder just now – forecasters are warning that despite the sunshine, a thunderstorm is about to move through, bringing heavy rain. Past that, though, the forecast says sunny and 80s for the afternoon.
8:15 AM: It’s been raining for going on 10 minutes now. Still partly sunny out there, and more thunder in the distance. (added) Commenter DTK offers the real-time radar link.
9:11 AM: More thunder – so it’s not over yet (as the radar suggested) …
(Photo by Don Brubeck)
Hope you were able to see the colors firsthand … after some drizzle and lightning, one of the most intensely colorful sunsets we’ve seen in a long time.
(Photo provided by Gary Smith with permission of anonymous photographer)
It’s only now ebbing with a line of deep pink in the northwest.
(Photo by Greg)
What a way to end West Seattle Summer Fest weekend!
(Photo by James Bratsanos)
Thanks to everyone who’s sharing photos – more:
(Photo by Jissy)
The colors were visible from the stands during the Sounders game, and back across the bay, from the sands of Alki:
(Photo by Eilene Hutchinson)
Might be another two or three to add – still reviewing the mail – again, thank you.
You’ve probably heard that tonight’s moon is not only the full moon, but is also the “supermoon,” brighter because the moon is closer to the earth. Space.com says the next two full moons also will qualify. Above, the dusk-ish view from Brian Fenske; below, the moonrise earlier, from Kayla Fenske.
If you’re going to be up early, look for the moonset just before 6 am, per the WSB Weather page.
It’s been warm for days – and it’s about to get a lot warmer. The National Weather Service has issued an “excessive heat watch” alert (see it here) for the weekend, Saturday morning through Sunday night. Highs are expected in the 90s – and even after the weekend, no significant cooldown is likely before at least midweek.
Quick break for pretty views of tonight’s sunset – on the eve of what’s forecast as clouds and showers. Above, from Don Brubeck; below, from Myrtle.
Thanks for sharing!
Sundog over West Seattle? Thanks to David Hutchinson (above) and Don Brubeck (below), frequent and much-appreciated WSB community contributors, for sharing the photos of what we think was a sunset sundog – one of the phenomena discussed in Alice Enevoldsen‘s “Skies Over West Seattle” a year ago.
Unusual cloud formations, too – any help identifying them would be welcome!
Thanks to Craig Young for the sunset view looking across Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza! It was the fifth-to-last sunset of Spring 2014, with summer due to arrive at 3:51 am our time Saturday (June 21st).
Thank you to everyone who shared photos from this evening’s spectacle to the west – above, from Owen Reese; below, from Leslie Dierauf:
Views via Twitter, too:
— Darren (@heydtrain) May 28, 2014
— Zithri Ahmed Saleem (@ZithriSaleem) May 28, 2014
Tomorrow’s forecast looks a little unsettled, too.
(Click image to see larger view)
Thanks to JayDee for the rain-sun-mix view from Upper Alki – after a day full of sunshine that wasn’t anywhere in the official forecast, but was good news for this morning’s West Seattle 5K (WSB coverage here) and the ensuing Summer Streets on Alki (coverage here and here). Next reason for forecast-fretting: Memorial Day weekend approaches. Right now, the National Weather Service forecast looks a lot like this weekend was supposed to look – cloudy, showery – so here’s hoping that too turns out to be not the case.
(WSB photos – this one, by Tracy Record; next two, by Patrick Sand)
Four hours after the thermometer hit 80, sunset color and clouds filled the sky over the Olympics, seen from Duwamish Head. Might have another photo or two to add shortly.
ADDED: Ferry on the Bremerton run:
And a crow hanging out at Don Armeni:
Should be another beautiful, warm evening on Thursday!
Thanks to everyone who’s shared views of the double rainbow that appeared before sunset! We’re building a gallery and adding more. For starters – this one’s from Max.
In some cases, the view wasn’t double so much as just, big. This view looking toward Fairmount is from Maris:
Next – from Debbie Bukoski:
From Eric Renn:
And Melissa sent her perspective via video, panning across the double rainbow from the shore of the bay:
Might add a few more – meantime, thanks to EVERYONE who shared!
Seldom will you hear us say “get away from the keyboard! now!” but this is one such time. If you have any view of the western sky, go see this beautiful moon for yourself. In case you can’t – or even if you can – Jason Gift Enevoldsen has shared a photo.
(P.S. You can always check the moon phases, moonset/moonrise/sunset/sunrise times, tides, and more, on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.)
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