West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Patricia for the view of tonight’s sweet sunset! And we have this one tweeted by Mike Jensen:
Some showers in the weekend forecast, but don’t let them keep you away from a slate of awesome late-spring events.
Two skywatching notes tonight:
AURORA ALERT: Via Twitter, Alice Enevoldsen (of Alice’s Astro Info and periodic Skies Over West Seattle reports among many other things) called our attention to an aurora alert for this area – and shortly thereafter, the National Weather Service tweeted this photo from Whidbey Island:
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) May 8, 2016
SUPER SUNSET: A cloudbank over the mountaintop/island-top horizon glowed with a pink edge for a long time after tonight’s sunset. Not long before that, James Bratsanos got this two-part view:
P.S. Today’s high temperature set a record for this date, 82; previous record was 81 in 1987.
Spectacular sunset, including a “sun pillar” – thanks for everyone who’s sending photos! Above, the first one we received, by Terry Blumer, from Cormorant Cove south of Alki Point.
Next, a more-intense version of the same color show, by Marc Milrod:
Don Brubeck shows a closer view of the “sun pillar” in the sunset:
We have a few more to add soon!
If you were looking south around 9 pm (we were headed home from a community meeting), you might have seen the lightning too – or at least heard the thunder rumbling in the distance since then. It all followed this sunset:
You can see the clouds gathering in that view from Chris Frankovich. Next, from Beach Drive, a wider view from Claudio Gonda:
And from The Junction, Renate Child shared her view, adding, “I love where I live.”
Forecast for tonight says breezy with a chance of (more) thunderstorms and showers; tomorrow, partly sunny, but cooler than it’s been for these past four consecutive 80+-degree days!
Thanks for the sunset photos! Above, that’s from Kanit Cottrell via e-mail; below, from Gary Gates via Twitter:
— Gary Gates (@DrGaryJGates) April 20, 2016
The beautiful sunset ended another day with a record-high temperature – 84 degrees, 10 degrees above the previous record. And we might get into the 80s again tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service, followed by possible evening thunderstorms!
Beautiful end to a recordbreaking day – with a high temperature of 89 degrees, 12 degrees over the previous record high, 77 (in 1962), and 30 degrees above the usual high for this date, 59. Tomorrow’s forecast is for another recordbreaking day going into the 80s. If you want to go swimming, your only options this time of year are indoors – pools at fitness facilities including the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), or, if you aren’t a member someplace with a pool, city-run Southwest Pool has public swim sessions – see the schedule here.
Without fanfare, the city’s wading-pool and spraypark schedule for this year has been made publicly available – we found it via web search; see it here. Our area’s lone spraypark, Highland Park, opens May 28th. The first of West Seattle’s four wading pools to open, Lincoln Park, will start up on June 25th, followed by Delridge on June 27th, and E.C. Hughes and Hiawatha on June 29th. Once again this year, Lincoln Park is the only seven-day-a-week wading pool in West Seattle.
The last day of spraypark and wading-pool season will be September 5th – with some closing much earlier – and one Seattle resident thinks that’s too early. Sacha Davis has started a change.org petition asking the city to extend spraypark season and asked if we would mention it. You can read Sacha’s rationale, and sign the petition if you’re interested, by going here.
P.S. Summer outdoor-swimming season, of course, also includes Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore. Its schedule is out too; the historic 75th-anniversary season starts May 28th.
You might have noticed that the temperature display in the WSB header has been insisting it’s zero degrees this morning. Might seem like a great April Fool’s joke … except it’s not; just a malfunction, first one for this feature since we added it in the January overhaul, and we’re troubleshooting it. Meantime, if you click the time/temp spot, you’ll get to the WSB West Seattle Weather page, which DOES have the accurate temperature (mid-to-upper 50s at last check). Sorry!
8:30 PM: Thanks to Kanit Cottrell for that view of tonight’s sunset, from Gatewood – the most vivid sunset so far this spring. Among the views shared via social media – Stacy directed this one our way via Twitter:
— Stacy McCauslin (@Aloha_Stacy) March 30, 2016
Tomorrow night looks promising too!
ADDED 10:08 PM: One more view – by David Hutchinson at Alki:
ADDED AT MIDNIGHT: And from Jamie Kinney in Fauntlee Hills:
(EARLIER AS-IT-HAPPENED STORM COVERAGE is here)
8:23 PM: The windstorm is officially over – the National Weather Service has canceled the “high wind warning,” which at one point was to be in effect until late tonight. Still some clouds, with showers remaining in the forecast; you probably noticed the early-evening hail.
(Photo tweeted by Todd Vandermark)
And lots of cleanup remains to be done. Some of the most urgent trouble spots have been cleared – we just went back to the eastbound bridge onramp at Avalon (etc.) to verify that it is fully open again. We have a few others to check on – if a road remains closed (or partly blocked) near you, please let us know – 206-293-6302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The largest remaining power outage on the map for West Seattle is one with 200+ customers out just west of Delridge, north of Orchard:
9:38 PM: We’ve replaced the screengrab of the SCL outage map, because another 100-plus customers in that area have subsequently lost their power. And there’s another cluster of almost 100 who are still out to the west, also shown in the screengrab.
Traffic-wise, we’re told Olson/Myers in southeast West Seattle is flashing red. That’s one we’ll check on in the early morning, before the major commute hours. You’ll want to take extra time to check on your commute route tomorrow – for example, if you cross Lake Washington, the 520 bridge is closed overnight after storm-related damage, though WSDOT expects to have it open for the am rush.
Also: As mentioned in the comment section – and just now, via Twitter – some are experiencing a Comcast outage.
Last but not least: One more downed-tree photo came in tonight, this one a 30-year-old thundercloud plum that fell at Kelly‘s house in Highland Park:
If you’re dealing with a downed tree, we would be interested to hear what you find when you start calling around for help. We expect local services will be megabusy.
11:43 AM: Thanks to Darlene for letting us know Southern is still closed – downed tree and wires – west of California, heading onto 44th.
(Screengrab from City Light outage map showing only scattered outages left as of 6:28 pm – click to go to “live” map on SCL website)
1:46 PM: The wind has kicked up big time and we have the first reports of power outages. The Seattle City Light map is turning pink fast. Biggest outage so far in West Seattle: More than 1,600 homes/businesses from Beach Drive to Fauntleroy, roughly from Brandon to Morgan. Also, a tree’s down across northbound California, 4700 block in The Junction:
Thanks for the photo – text 206-293-6302 or email@example.com – you also can post photos in comments – and we’re of course on Twitter at @westseattleblog – where this just came in:
— s|n|a (@sna23) March 13, 2016
2:02 PM: We also have word of a tree down on Highland Park Way, and an HP outage.
2:10 PM: Just added a current screengrab of the City Light outage map. PLEASE stay home if you can – trees are coming down in many areas and you don’t want to be under the next one to fall. If you ARE out, please remember that when signals are out, they are a four-way stop – we have a Twitter report of people just “blowing through” signals that are out of power. And once you’ve reported problems, please be patient – so far more than 34,000 homes and businesses are out around the city.
2:24 PM: Speaking of signals, they are out on major routes including 16th through Highland Park (at Holden and Austin, according to a text we just received). Another reason to stay home unless it’s an emergency – some businesses are out of power. (Please let us know when you’re back as well as when you’re out!)
2:39 PM: Just in, a tree down across Fairmount Avenue toward the north end of the ravine between Admiral and Alki:
Thanks to Thore for that photo. Also just received – tree down on Avalon by Yancy (thanks to the person who texted this):
2:51 PM: Updated the outage-map screengrab for West Seattle again, atop this story. Doesn’t appear to have worsened in the past 20 minutes or so. Citywide, the number also has remained steady, around 35,000 customers (homes/businesses) out. But there goes another strong gust as we type – so don’t get complacent yet if your power has remained on (ours has in Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood, so far). And as someone has pointed out in comments, we’re not being alarmist when we warn against going out if you don’t absolutely have to, because of the danger of falling trees – one has killed someone in Seward Park (here’s the SFD tweet). Signal outages are a hazard too – along with 16th, as mentioned earlier, the Morgan Junction outage has California/Fauntleroy out, as we just were reminded by a scanner mention.
3:04 PM: Thanks to Keith for word of tree trouble on northbound 35th between Alaska and Avalon. More trees are falling than in some windstorms, and that’s most likely because of how waterlogged the ground is from the far-above-average rainfall we’ve been having. If you’re anywhere near the water, especially west-facing WS, you’re seeing whitecaps and waves – Nick sent this from Me-Kwa-Mooks vicinity:
Many are asking “how long will our power be out?” Our stock answer is to assume the worst and be surprised if it’s better. Could be many hours, judging by past windstorms (we’ve covered them going back to the legendary one in December 2006, which was stronger than this and led to some people being out for more than a week). Citywide, the number of customers out is up to more than 40,000 now. Here’s SCL advice on what to do if/when your power’s out. … Also just heard via scanner, chain-link fence onto southbound 35th at Avalon; tree blocking the switchbacks from Upper Fauntleroy to Lincoln Park in Northrop/44th/Southern vicinity (added: photo from Linda)…
Also, tree trouble at 16th/Thistle. Scanner traffic continues to indicate that SCL and SDOT are maxed out right now so please do report but know you might not get a response soon. DON’T GO ANYWHERE NEAR DOWNED WIRES, PLEASE.
3:16 PM: From comments – Southwest Pool is now closed for the day because there’s no power. More trees down – Mariko sent this from 37th SW, near Willow:
And at Fauntleroy/Wildwood, south of the ferry dock – thanks to Jim:
3:38 PM: Thanks for the texts – a tree is down across part of the onramp to the eastbound bridge from Avalon/Admiral/etc.
The high-wind warning remains in effect until 11 pm – read it here.
4:05 PM: Thanks to Jay for the ferry/waves photo from Beach Drive/Alki Point area.
As mentioned earlier, businesses are affected in more than a few spots – Susan mentions in comments that the Morgan Junction outage includes West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). We’ll be going out shortly for a look at some of the major areas. And we can’t say it enough – be careful and don’t go out if you don’t have to. Here’s a streetlight pole leaning at 16th/Trenton in Highland Park:
Thanks again to everyone sending photos.
4:42 PM: We have reports from Highland Park and High Point that some of the power is back on. We’re out now looking around and just happened to be at 16th and Holden when we saw that – the 16th lights ARE working. Meantime, at Delridge/Orchard, the signal is flashing red. Just texted from resident near SW Precinct that their power’s back too. We’ll update our outage-map screengrab shortly. … wait, maybe not; it appears to not be working at this moment.
4:51 PM: Just checked out the bridge-ramp-blocking tree firsthand:
Crew on scene of tree blocking EB bridge ramp from Avalon etc pic.twitter.com/qbTbyINjVV
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 13, 2016
Please let us know if you discover it open and we haven’t reported it yet – hard to tell how long it will take to clear. Meantime, get on the eastbound bridge from Fauntleroy or from Delridge.
As we continue our rounds – looks like California Lane’s blocking tree is cleared, as traffic is coming down the hill to Harbor Avenue. And the City Light map is back up. We’re traveling along Alki, which did NOT lose power this afternoon, and all the restaurants appear to be up and running.
5:02 PM: We’re along Beach Drive now – part of the central stretch is part of the remaining major outage zone in West Seattle, which also goes east to Morgan Junction, 1,600+ homes/businesses. Surf’s not too high along Beach Drive because the tide is relatively low right now.
5:13 PM: Just arrived in Morgan Junction and tweeted this pic:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 14, 2016
Our photographed just went into Thriftway – it IS open, no hot food in the deli, no frozen food sales, and some of their perishables are out of the cases for now. They’re also limiting cash back right now but otherwise they are running with generator power. Meantime, we’ve updated the SCL outage-map framegrab atop this story with the 5 pm view – reflecting the eastern West Seattle outages that are now over.
5:27 PM: Besides the trees being cleared from roads, tree services will be busy for days if not weeks with trees that have come down onto homes. Two are down on this house on SW Tillicum in Fauntleroy (thanks for texting the photo):
5:41 PM: Just got a text that 42nd/Graham has power restored, shortly after a text that it is back on in the 6300 block of Beach Drive. The SCL map shows only scattered small outages remaining in West Seattle, though across the service area, more than 41,000 customers are still without electricity.
5:56 PM: We just checked the bridge ramp again. Big progress for the crew but the ramp’s still closed. Also closed, SW Southern on the west side of California, because of a tree blocking the route down the hillside to neighborhoods east of Lincoln Park.
6:05 PM: Margie lost this 40+-year-old tree at her house near 39th/Andover:
We just checked back in The Junction, and the tree that fell in front of 4730 California hasn’t been cleaned up yet, but traffic’s going by both ways.
6:18 PM: Robert in Seola sent this photo, saying a family made a narrow escape:
He says they had just gotten out of the car when a tree fell on it, near where another tree had fallen across the road.
Also in southwest West Seattle, Gary sent this photo of a tree down at 35th and 111th – taking down a power line:
Later tonight, we will have a separate report on the aftermath of the storm, including any roads that remain closed … we appreciate updates, and thank EVERYONE again for all the information and photos throughout the afternoon – 206-293-6302, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Weather Service‘s “high wind warning” for our area has been revised because “the storm is moving faster and winds are expected to begin rising sooner than previously expected.” The NWS expects the “strongest winds” in this area to be “during the early to mid-afternoon.” Current forecast is for south to southeast wind 25 mph to 40 mph, gusting up to 60 mph. We’ll be monitoring the situation throughout the day; if your neighborhood is hit with wind effects such as a power outage, downed tree or wires, etc., once you’ve reported to authorities, please let us know – text or call 206-293-6302. Here are some of the numbers you might need:
REPORTING A POWER OUTAGE: 206-684-3000
REPORTING A ROAD/SIDEWALK HAZARD: SDOT’s 24-hour dispatch is 206-386-1218; if you can’t reach them and it’s a truly urgent hazard, call 911.
3:51 PM: The weather alert for tomorrow has been upgraded this afternoon to a “High Wind Warning,” and the National Weather Service‘s forecast discussion describes it as a “classic Puget Sound windstorm scenario,” with sustained wind from the south/southeast/southwest potentially 35-45 mph and gusts as high as 70 mph. This is all supposed to happen Sunday afternoon/evening, so you have time to charge everything, get flashlights handy, and other precautions for possible outages.
9:44 PM: As noted in comments, there’s now more of a possibility this might be a little weaker than the afternoon projection – you can read the NWS’s newest “forecast discussion” by going here. As of right now, they’re keeping the warnings up, since the possibility of winds strong enough to bring down trees and cause outages remains. We’ll see what the morning forecast updates (there’s usually another by 4 am, for night owls/earlybirds) bring.
6:41 PM FRIDAY: It’s early – but the National Weather Service wants you to know there’s a chance of a windstorm Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night, possibly bringing southerly winds 20 to 40 mph and gusts up to 60, so it has issued a “High Wind Watch” (read it here). We’ll update through the weekend, as usual.
6:51 AM SATURDAY: The High Wind Watch is officially in effect noon Sunday-5 am Monday, as of the most-recent update (see it here).
2:13 PM SATURDAY: Now the alert is up to a ‘high wind warning,’ noon-11 pm Sunday, gusts up to 70 mph.
Thanks to Darlene Allen for the photo of a tree down on the north path at Lincoln Park. This is the first notable damage we’ve heard about from this morning’s windy, wavy weather (earlier coverage, including high-tide aftermath photos/video, is in our morning traffic/weather report) – but the wind advisory remains in effect until 4 pm, so please let us know if you see/hear about anything else – 206-293-6302, 24/7 – thank you!
(SCROLL DOWN for weather updates as well as traffic)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:12 AM: Good morning – we’re watching weather as well as traffic this morning; a “wind advisory” was added overnight and is in effect until 4 pm, with gusts up to 50 mph. Charge everything! That’s in addition to the “coastal flood advisory” until 8 am. If the weather causes any serious problems, such as power outages, we’ll break out to a separate report, but for now we’ll track it along with the usual early-morning traffic watch. If you see trees/wires down, power out, or other storm effects, once you’ve reported to 911 (or City Light), let us know – 206-293-6302.
7:04 AM: We’ve been out checking on the wind/tide effects. Main one so far: Waves are crashing over the Constellation Park stretch of Beach Drive:
7:33 AM: Waterfront residents, at least on the west-facing side of West Seattle, are dealing with the tide’s aftermath, as Beach Drive Blog shows. We meantime also went over to the north-facing shore to check on the Alki Beach promenade was getting some spillover but nothing too dramatic:
Hour after high tide, still some spillover on the Alki promenade pic.twitter.com/gysowIvNqH
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 10, 2016
No traffic trouble so far, meantime.
10:48 AM: The crash that has closed Sylvan Way will clear as soon as tow trucks arrive.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:35 PM: If you’re by the water – a “coastal flood warning” is out for the early-morning hours, 2-8 am. The high tide at 5:38 am will be almost 12 and a half feet, and the National Weather Service says the wind, waves, and “unusually low atmospheric pressure” could combine to cause trouble on the shore. “Normally flooding with the tides would be minor … however, winds will whip up waves of 4 to 6 feet around the time of high tide, with water coming over seawalls and impacting structures in lowlying areas near the water. Flooding is expected around the time of high tide.” In this area, the low-pressure “anomaly” could add almost two feet to the tide, for a 14.3 high tide. (Thanks to Lura for pointing this out; her family is “checking sandbags and setting up a pump” just in case.)
ADDED 6:16 AM: A “wind advisory” is in effect now too, until 4 pm. We’re tracking the weather along with traffic this morning, here.
(SCROLL DOWN for the newest weather/power-outage updates and photos)
The wind. Loudly rustling evergreens now and then, but not sustained pic.twitter.com/d99V0P43mx
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 1, 2016
3:19 PM: We have word of two outages so far – the Seattle City Light map shows 100+ customers out in the Seola/south Arbor Heights area:
And we just received a call from someone in Gatewood – right about the time our power flickered (but stayed on) here, south of Gatewood. It’s been about an hour and a half since the wind started kicking up – some gusts, but not a lot of sustained strong wind, so far.
3:40 PM: Gatewood’s still not on the map (California/Orchard was the area mentioned by the caller), but that historically outage-plagued area doesn’t always show. None of the lights on California in that area were out when we went by a few minutes ago.
3:51 PM: Now we have an explanation for the Gatewood outage – Cynthia and Scott have sent photos of a tree down on Gatewood Road:
4:05 PM: Thanks to Cathy for this report: “At Genesee and 49th, a tree has pulled down a wire, which is dangling into the middle of the street. Cars are swerving around it. Tried to call 911 but got put on hold for 15 minutes. May want to give folks a heads up.”
4:16 PM: Just got to that area – all clear now, and a City Light vehicle was just leaving.
4:27 PM: We’re now in Gatewood, where a variety of wires are down on Glenridge (same area as tree photo above). Neighbors have put out cones and have called it in but haven’t seen SCL yet.
4:44 PM: And an oddity that might just be coincidental to the wind, or not – Gay sent this photo of a “flying starfish,” explaining that a “neighbor kid and his chaperone” found it – about a third of a mile inland!
Gay says they’re speculating an eagle dropped it.
5:08 PM: Per comments, new trouble on Genesee – tree/wires at 48th.
5:21 PM: We’ve also had, for the third day in a row, rainbow reports! Thanks for the photos – this is from Al:
And right before the rainbow, Deb photographed hail in North Admiral:
Whitecaps on the water this afternoon, as this photo from Alki by W.T. Vandermark shows:
5:44 PM: Back to Gatewood, where Scott says City Light hasn’t arrived yet, though SDOT has helped block off the affected area:
The wind advisory remains in effect until 9 tonight.
6:30 PM: According to the City Light map, the number of customers still out in Seola/south Arbor Heights is down to 51.
6:44 PM: New tree trouble, tweeted by Mike Jensen:
— Mike Jensen (@mjtwit) March 2, 2016
9 PM: Gatewood is back on, per Zephyr in comments. But the SCL map still has 51 out in Seola/south AH.
9:18 PM: Make that “some” in Gatewood – Scott says City Light is there but isn’t working yet, and his neighborhood remains without electricity.
11:54 PM: The new month might begin in blustery style. The National Weather Service has a wind advisory up for our area and vicinity, noon-10 pm Tuesday, with southerly winds that could gust up to 45 mph. Read the advisory here – and keep everything charged.
5:10 AM: Slight revision in the time frame – the NWS now has the advisory in effect from noon-9 pm.
9:53 PM: Yes, just in case you’re looking for validation, that was thunder. We’ve had a bit of everything today – rain, hail, wind, rainbows (did you see the photos?) – so probably shouldn’t be a surprise. Checking to see if more’s expected.
10:01 PM: Though it wasn’t in the main forecast, we did find a mention in the 9 pm “forecast discussion” from the National Weather Service – “AND WITH SLIGHT INSTABILITY…CANNOT RULE OUT AN ISOLATED LIGHTNING STRIKE.” (The discussion is published in all caps.) So that MIGHT be all.
10:27 PM: And a weather stat:
Total precip since Oct 1 at Sea-Tac thru 10 pm on Feb 28th 37.72". Normal for entire water year Oct. 1 – Sept 30…37.49". #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 29, 2016
9:05 AM: Thanks to Paul Panzl on Genesee Hill for the rainbow photo taken moments ago – a rare westward view, as a sunbreak punctuated this morning’s showery weather. Looks as if the mythical “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” might be a few hundred feet down. Could get windy this morning, the National Weather Service warns, with gusts possibly up to 36 mph.
ADDED: Ron tweeted this photo:
— Ron Creel (@roncreel) February 28, 2016
ADDED 4:44 PM: And rainbows to the north this afternoon!
That one, showing Luna/Anchor Park, is from Susanna Moore from Niederberger Contracting (WSB sponsor); the one below is from Carol Wagener:
Thanks again for the photos – we also showcase West Seattle images in our daily calendar previews – send your pic to email@example.com (or, if it’s breaking news, text 206-293-6302) – thank you!
Thanks to Martha Kongsgaard for the rainbow photo from The Junction, right around this evening’s sunset.