West Seattle, Washington
A break in the rain would be good news for neighbors beneath that bluff in southwest West Seattle. Since the slide Thursday night at 47th SW and Maplewood, they’ve joined forces to clear their private drive “enough to get in and out,” says resident Kathleen, who adds that they’re hopeful “the sliding has stopped” but won’t really know until it’s dried for about a week. She estimates this is the tenth slide in the 35 years she’s lived in the neighborhood.
(ADDED: WSB photo, Sunday high tide at Don Armeni Boat Ramp)
It’s a blustery Sunday, and one weather alert is in effect – a “coastal flood advisory” until noon today. The rain and wind are accompanying one more “king tide” – 12.4 feet at 10:27 am – and the alert warns that as a result, “low-lying areas next to Puget Sound … will likely see a few inches of water for an hour or two around high tide.”
P.S. If you have an urgent road/sidewalk hazard to report (tree down, etc.) – 206-386-1218 is SDOT’s around-the-clock dispatch. We were just asked for that number so we’re sharing it again.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES, including city’s overnight plan)
12:18 PM: No, you’re not imagining things. If you’re in West Seattle’s upper elevations (High Point, Arbor Heights, Upper Fauntleroy …), those are snowflakes, very light flurry so far. The National Weather Service‘s forecast wasn’t expecting them until overnight. But let us know if you’re seeing them too.
12:42 PM: More intense flurry now!
(Gatewood snow, by Cindi Barker)
1:07 PM: Starting to stick here (300+ feet uphill and east of Lincoln Park), as some are noting in comments. Be careful driving/walking – it’s slick. By the way, our last visible snow was on December 27th.
(Fauntleroy snow, by Clyde Suggs)
1:21 PM: Still snowing big, fluffy flakes here.
(Video added Sunday night – thanks to Dorothy – excited kids @ WS Farmers’ Market as snowfall began)
And the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has just lifted the King County burn ban.
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) January 3, 2016
(Video tweeted by @MetPatrick22 in Sunrise Heights – that’s Fire Station 37)
1:48 PM: Back to more of a flurry than a shower – the road’s wet, planting strips and lawns (etc.) have a dusting.
(Robin at Lincoln Park – photo by Erin Jackson)
2:09 PM: In case you wondered – as did one commenter – no changes resulting from the snow so far; just not enough for that. But we’ll be on watch as always, including overnight and into the early-morning hours – we have morning traffic coverage atop the main WSB page every weekday, and weather is included when conditions merit.
2:55 PM: Speaking of tomorrow morning – this is just in via e-mail from SDOT:
To support the safe flow of traffic, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will pretreat roads with salt brine and salt late Sunday to address potential ice or snow on arterial roadways.
Travelers are advised to check weather and roadway conditions prior to beginning their Monday morning commute. If possible, residents should consider delaying their trips in the morning to avoid potentially icy conditions. Information on winter weather preparedness, to include SDOT’s winter weather brochure and snow route map, can be found here.
3:10 PM: If you’re checking in at halftime – the snow’s stopped. For now, anyway.
(Graphic from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website)
With another day of stagnant air, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has announced a Stage 1 burn ban for all of King County, in hopes of keeping the air quality from getting any worse. That means: “Use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves and inserts prohibited. Pellet stoves, EPA certified wood stoves and inserts are allowed. Outdoor burning prohibited.” Find out more here.
No rain expected this New Year’s Eve, but the weather isn’t good news if you have respiratory challenges – the National Weather Service has issued an air-stagnation advisory for Seattle and vicinity, in effect 10 pm Wednesday through 10 am Monday. This means, as the advisory notes, that “due to limited movement of an air mass across the advisory area, pollution will increase to dangerous levels.” No burn ban so far, but that could change (you can check here or on the WSB West Seattle Weather page). It’ll be colder than usual, too – highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s.
11:56 AM: It’s not in the forecast, but a bit of snow is mixed with the rain falling in West Seattle right now – at least if you’re in the upper elevations.
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) December 27, 2015
We’ve heard from Sunrise Heights (above) and High Point so far, and we’re seeing it in Upper Fauntleroy.
12:05 PM: Also hearing from Arbor Heights and Fairmount. And it’s snowier here right now – but still too warm to stick.
More snow than rain, not sticking yet at 350' pic.twitter.com/MxpM3F9RY1
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 27, 2015
12:18 PM: Vanessa in Highland Park comments that “it’s starting to stick in the yard.”
12:48 PM: Commenters also have seen a bit of snow at the lower elevations, in Admiral, Alki, Morgan. Back to light rain right now. But if you want to see more snow, you could take the Fauntleroy ferry over to Southworth – it’s definitely sticking in Kitsap County, according to photos/video on Twitter.
Just a note for “king tide” watchers: The 12.7-foot high tide at 6:49 am on Sunday morning will be the highest tide of December 2015, and not far from the highest tide of the winter, peaking at 12.9 three mornings in a row next month, January 13, 14, and 15. (Here’s the monthly chart; you can also consult a daily chart any time for a quick “when’s the next low/high tide?” look, via the WSB West Seattle Weather page.)
Two of the photos texted to our hotline (206-293-6302) this weekend are interesting sights you might have missed:
UNWRAPPED: Thanks to Charlie G. for the photo of wind-blown Tyvek peeled off the under-construction Rally project at Charlestown/California. (Lynda B. had texted us about it earlier but it was gone by the time we arrived.)
Meantime, today’s high-mark “king tide” is 20 minutes away, at 11:49 am. Today it’s 12.4 feet – just a bit down from Saturday morning, when Tim McMonigle shared this photo from the Alki seawall:
Certainly it’s more spectacular when north winds are blowing – but as Tim noted, even without them, seeing the Sound almost over the seawall is still impressive.
Tonight, we had enough of a break between storms for this vivid sunset to blaze through. Top photo is by Chris Frankovich; next one, with a pre-sunset rainbow at Alki, is by Marcus G:
And the glow from Upper Alki was caught by JayDee:
This had us wondering about winter solstice – it officially arrives one week from tomorrow, at 8:49 pm our time on Monday, December 21st.
8:32 PM: You might have noticed about two hours ago that the wind suddenly picked up in a big way – “house-rocking” velocity, we observed via Twitter at the time, but the National Weather Service hadn’t issued any alerts. Now, it has, as pointed out by Heather pointed out; the wind advisory warns of gusts up to 50 mph, and is in effect until noon Sunday.
8:55 PM P.S. – TRAFFIC: Thanks to everyone who’s called/texted/tweeted about trouble on the bridge tonight – first, a westbound crash; more recently, an eastbound crash, both on the westernmost section, between Fauntleroy/35th and Admiral. In both cases, lanes reopened before we could even publish something here, but we monitor traffic fairly closely on Twitter, so if you’re heading out or back, check there first.
10:28 PM: Roger caught the westbound 35th crash on his dashcam – it’s toward the end of the minute-long clip:
And thanks to Jason for a photo from Olson/Cambridge, where he says a crash reported about an hour ago involved this vehicle hitting a light fixture:
No major injuries reported in any of these crashes.
In case you’ve been in an office all day – yes, it’s been stormy! Even some mid-afternoon thunder. And, with some blasts of ferocious wind, more tree trouble:
— Lara G (@LaraG123) December 11, 2015
Lara adds that she’s found it almost impossible to book a tree-removal service. (Any tips?)
Linda says she came home to find a car on her street in Morgan Junction with apparent tree-branch damage, and sent these photos:
Meantime, we went to the shore to see what would happen around late-afternoon high tide, what with the “coastal flood advisory.” South of Alki Point, wind-fueled waves brought salt water up over the seawall again:
Another advisory is in effect for early tomorrow morning; 5:37 am brings an 11.6-foot high tide in this area.
After this morning’s lightning, thunder, wind, and rain (WSB coverage here), you might wonder: What’s next? Answer: Another alert, this time a “coastal flood advisory” for tomorrow, 2 am-6 pm (read it here). As explained by the National Weather Service, “High tides augmented by unusually low atmospheric pressure will likely flood very low-lying areas next to the inland waters. Flooding is expected to be minor and will last only a few hours around the time of high tide.” Here’s what the approaching “unusually low … pressure” looks like:
— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) December 10, 2015
As for the times of possible flooding – tomorrow’s high tides in our area (see the chart here) are 11.2 feet at 5:05 am and 10.8 feet at 3:14 pm.
P.S. Since the storm that passed through in the 6 am hour, we’ve received two reader videos recorded as it happened. Molly caught the hail that left an almost-snowy-looking aftermath in some spots:
Al was bicycling to work when the storm hit – distant lightning flashes and not-so-distant hail is part of what his helmet-cam recording captured:
And if you’re missing a rainbarrel – this one went astray near 46th and Hanford, and Chris sent a photo:
Chris has checked with nearby residents already and says it’s not theirs.
(SCROLL DOWN for newest weather/traffic/power info)
(Above: 2 live cams; you’ll find more on the WSB Traffic page)
6:17 AM: Lightning and thunder are accompanying the next storm band headed this way – so we’ll be tracking that as well as watching the roads and buses. If you’re headed out on foot/bike, obviously, wait a bit! Wind is roaring through with this, too.
— zargoman (@zargoman) December 9, 2015
(Added: Lightning from ferry Hyak, video tweeted by @zargoman)
6:36 AM: The lightning/thunder/wind appears to have moved on, for now. Left some hail behind in spots too – thanks for this texted photo from an Alki alley:
Michelle sent this closeup look:
(added) WSB’s Christopher Boffoli said some of what fell at his house was even nickel-sized:
6:48 AM: The City Light map shows one pocket of power outage, 114 homes/businesses in Westwood (added – also 25 in Fairmount Springs, near Fauntleroy/Raymond). If you have power and/or road trouble, please let us know (once you’ve notified authorities!) – comment here or text/voice to our 24/7 hotline 206-293-6302.
7 AM: Via Twitter, @janaobscura says bridge traffic is worse than usual for this hour, too.
7:29 AM: Breezy but at least here near Lincoln Park, the rain is taking a break. Keep in mind that after all that rain, trees can be at risk – Peter sent the photo of this one down against a house in
We’re checking out one in Arbor Heights too. No reports of road blockages so far.
7:46 AM: That may be changing – we’re off to check out a possible tree-over-road near Lincoln Park. Meantime, if you have to report a road emergency such as a tree, as explained here earlier this fall, SDOT says THE number is 206-386-1218.
8:03 AM: The aforementioned tree is across 44th SW south of Southern – and a couple of guys were working to clear it, but if you use the “switchbacks” between California and Fauntleroy, that might be a trouble spot for a bit.
8:46 AM: Another post-storm hazard for drivers/bike riders/walkers in neighborhoods – lots of branches, small and large, blown off trees. We noticed this on 41st SW west of Fairmount Park, from which Peter sent this updated photo of tree vs. house:
If you haven’t been out yet – still breezy but lots of blue sky; if we didn’t have the photographic evidence (thanks to everyone who has contributed!) you’d never know how this day began!
9:39 AM: More storm aftermath – thanks for the tips! Another toppled tree – this one in Arbor Heights:
And on 41st, not far from the house shown above, a big branch is down on the street, taken off this tree, which has a blackened spot almost as if it had a lightning strike:
Thanks also to G for the info that the Westwood-area outage mentioned earlier is affecting some (but not all) of the businesses at the center – you might want to call ahead if you’re heading that way.
10:08 AM: Some branches brought down this morning are themselves the size of trees.
Joe Szilagyi shared the photo of an 18-foot branch down at his house in Arbor Heights.
10:50 PM WEDNESDAY: Forecasters are now expecting strong wind in our area tomorrow too; earlier today, warnings were primarily for outside the city, but now Seattle’s been added. The National Weather Service‘s “high wind warning” is in effect for 2-10 pm Thursday, with south wind expected to “increase to 25 to 40 mph late Thursday afternoon or early evening, then turn southwesterly before easing late in the evening. Gusts to 60 mph are possible.”
9:17 PM THURSDAY: The wind didn’t show up, and the warning is now canceled.
(UPDATED with photo from Wednesday afternoon high tide)
(Tuesday night photo by David Hutchinson: Moonrise behind Columbia Center)
Tonight brings the official full moon – 4:50 pm moonrise (per the moon/sun times on the WSB West Seattle Weather page) – and about an hour and a half before that, another “king tide” at 3:22 pm, 12.2 feet, ALMOST as high as yesterday. Some north wind is in the forecast too. But as for whether we’ll see anything like this …
(Photo courtesy Liesbet)
… we’ll have to wait and see. We did stop by Alki this morning to see the aftermath of Tuesday’s wildness (here’s our video/photo gallery if you missed it):
That sand and driftwood at Statue of Liberty Plaza comprised most of what caught our eye, aside from a few puddles left on the promenade.
P.S. If you miss the king tides this month – next month brings three more, right around Christmas, and then there’s a round in mid-January with the highest of all. They’re all on this list.
ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: We did stop by the Alki promenade just after high tide, around 3:30. Some splashes, but nothing huge. Beautiful just the same:
(SCROLL DOWN for updates – including video, photos added late Tuesday night)
(Added 3:45 pm, WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:42 PM: Thanks to David Hutchinson for photos from Alki showing north-wind-fueled waves against the seawall well before the 2:40 pm high “king” tide (previewed here last night).
He also shows us that Alki Bathhouse has sandbags out just in case:
This isn’t even the highest “king tide” of winter – but of course, without the wind, higher tides can be far more sedate. Updates to come.
2:54 PM: Just back from the totally swamped Alki boardwalk – water over the walkway, and the Bathhouse certainly needs the sandbags. This :15 Instagram video clip is only a taste:
And we do mean “taste” – if you are anywhere within a block of the water, you’ll taste salt spray. Felt like stronger wind/waves than the corresponding “king tide” + north wind event last year. Downloading more images when everything dries out. (Also – We were live on Periscope for about four minutes until conditions shut down our phone; the archived video is visible for 24 hours at this link.)
3:39 PM UPDATE: The National Weather Service has a “coastal flood advisory” in effect through 5 pm because of the overflow in areas like Alki.
4:15 PM: The West Seattle Water Taxi run is “temporarily suspended” until this calms down, according to text/e-mail alerts.
4:42 PM: And if you use Marine View Drive, beware of a tree hanging over 46th SW, according to Meg, who says it’s been reported to 911.
4:55 PM: King County Water Taxi service is canceled for the rest of the night, per the newest alert.
ADDED 10:21 PM: Video from “Diver Laura” James, “up close and personal” with the waves, as she put it:
From Kersti Muul:
And from Long Bach Nguyen, the next three beautiful scenes as blustery day gave way to night:
Another “king tide” tomorrow – but without the wind.
(November 2014 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
While the “s”(now) word has vanished from the city forecast, another force of nature is on the way: The first “king tide” of the season. The 2:40 pm high tide will be 12.3 feet, one of the highest of the season (here’s the full regional “king tide” chart for this month through January) – the state is again looking for photos of the tides’ effects. Tomorrow has a potential complication – wind from the north, 15-25 mph, which could bring the water over the seawall on the Alki promenade. Not likely anything resembling the famous December 2012 storm-surge-enhanced king tide – but depending on the wind, conditions could resemble what happened when high tide met gusty north wind a year ago.
Thanks to David Hutchinson for sharing the two scenes from another cloudless evening – “Clear, cool and a bit breezy out around sunset this evening. Made for a nice view from Don Armeni of the skyline and the gibbous moon.”
You’ve probably heard we might get snow showers Monday night/Tuesday morning … here’s the newest forecast.
— Raptor Bait (@velogiraptor) November 18, 2015
7:09 PM: Commenter “Community Member” first mentioned it in comments on our previous storm story – but we could hardly believe it until we saw it in the photo above: Hail/sleet has fallen in various West Seattle spots. We’re checking the forecast to see what’s next.
7:20 PM: More photos – this one is from Steve:
He explains, “It sounded like really heavy rain for the past 10 minutes up here in Admiral (Just East of Schmitz Park). When I let our dog out, the rear deck was covered in some kind of frozen precipitation. You can also see our umbrella that was broken off in the windstorm.”
Video from Mark in High Point:
From Kate in Seaview:
And from Kyle near Ercolini Park:
Closer look at what fell from the sky, tweeted by Amy (as mentioned in comments):
— Amy LeFurgy (@alefurgy) November 18, 2015
So far as we can tell, this wasn’t forecast, but in this kind of storm, just about anything can happen. Tonight’s low is expected to be in the 40s.
ADDED 8:49 PM: One more photo – texted, so we don’t know who to credit:
Hiawatha Playfield, if you don’t recognize it.
(MORNING STORM COVERAGE IS HERE, including 2 power outages … ROAD HAZARD? Call 206-386-1218)
12:55 PM: We start our afternoon report with word of two tree-trouble spots:
*The Highland Park Way hill west of W. Marginal Way SW is reported to be closed in both directions because of a downed tree.
*A tree is also reported down at Olson and Myers. Traffic effects unknown; we’re off to check.
1:10 PM: SDOT reports Highland Park Way is open again.
1:32 PM: Just checked out the Myers/Olson situation. Southbound Myers is blocked off at Olson – you can’t turn onto it (photo above shows the roped-off exit lane from eastbound Olson); crews are on the road. Also of note, DEEP water across SW Roxbury at the easternmost entrance to Safeway. Lots of puddling on roads everywhere you go – we’ve been talking mostly about the wind, but the rain has continued, and the ground already was saturated from the recent 4-inches-in-3-days storm.
2:07 PM: While you can use Myers northbound, you can’t turn onto westbound Olson – that’s taped off too.
2:27 PM: The National Weather Service says things should start to get better after another hour or so in the metro area.
2:48 PM: As Katelyn notes in comments, SFD is responding to downed wire(s) at Beach Drive and Canada.
The Seattle City Light map (screengrab above) shows a 79-customer outage nearby. Several people have told us they heard two “booms” just before the power went out. Today’s two other multiple-customer West Seattle outages (in our morning coverage) were resolved relatively quickly.
3:42 PM: That outage is now described as “equipment failure” which would seem to verify the transformer suspicion. Meantime, if you passed a crash scene at 16th/Barton, that wasn’t weather-related – we’re working on a separate story we’ll link here when done (update: it’s here). This next photo, however, does seem to be weather-related:
Keri says that’s near Holy Rosary School.
3:52 PM: Cil says in comments that Myers/Olson is back to normal. (Thanks to everyone for updates as well as initial reports – 206-293-6302 is our text/voice hotline 24/7.)
4:22 PM: On Puget Ridge, Andy says this tree is hanging precariously low over SW Brandon:
— Andy DeBroux (@brouxhaha) November 18, 2015
6:36 PM: Thanks for the updates. The weather has calmed, as forecast, but still some trouble out there. Our site was down for a while but that was not weather-related – it’s hosted out of the city especially so that it will be safe in case of catastrophe here; the server company just happened to have a massive problem that affected many sites including ours. Meantime, word of more trees toppling at day’s end – one blocking part of Orchard near Delridge, and this one on Webster by the Solstice Park P-Patch (east of Fauntleroy Way):
We’ll likely start a storm-aftermath report in a bit so please keep the updates coming – email@example.com – thank you!
For the second time in a decade, a windstorm has taken its toll on the iconic cow (steer?) atop John’s Corner Deli in Sunrise Heights, via gust-powered cow-tipping. Soon as the folks across the street at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) mentioned it, we remembered its disappearance during the 2006 Hanukkah Eve windstorm. So far today, the bovine fixture at 35th/Webster is still in view – just lying down on the job.
3:15 PM UPDATE: @MetPatrick tweeted this photo of The Cow being secured:
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) November 17, 2015
Now you won’t have to worry that it will next become, as Craig put it in a comment, “ground beef.”
(SCROLL DOWN for updates … ROAD HAZARD? 206-386-1218 … POWER OUT? 206-684-3000)
(Added: WSB photo, wind-swept waves at Constellation Park)
FIRST POWER OUTAGE REPORT, 8:41 AM: Thanks to those who texted – the power’s out for more than 4,800 homes and businesses:
Seattle City Light‘s map says the cause is under investigation. While you’ll see “estimated restoration” times there, PLEASE remember that those are only guesstimates and almost always, the actual time is something completely different – could be much earlier or much later.
9:17 AM: About a third of those who lost power have it back – thanks to Tony in Seaview for first word on that.
9:20 AM: Our crew just stopped by Alki Elementary. Aside from the lack of electricity, it’s “business as usual,” and classes continue.
9:40 AM: City Light says a tree is to blame for the outage. Don’t know exactly where. Meantime, thanks for the texted photo of this tree down by Sanislo Elementary:
The texter says it’s *not* blocking the road. Sanislo DOES have power. Alki and Pathfinder remain the only schools that lost power, but district spokesperson Stacy Howard tells WSB that they have enough natural light to keep classes going.
9:52 AM: Photojournalist Erika Schultz says Pathfinder’s back on – it was a pocket outage all along, on Pigeon Point:
— Erika Schultz (@ErikaJSchultz) November 17, 2015
10:06 AM: Thanks for the texts and comments about more power restoration – Alki, Beach Drive, Genesee Hill. Waiting for City Light map to update. (1 minute later) Looks like everyone’s back on – if you’re NOT, please be sure to call SCL – 206-684-3000.
SECOND POWER OUTAGE, 10:17 AM: Almost immediately after that outage was resolved, a new one has hit – Puget Ridge, Riverside, points south, 2,100+ customers per City Light map:
10:25 AM: Just got a texted report of wires down on Beach Drive near Cormorant Cove Park (3700 block).
11:02 AM: Thanks for the updates – the SCL map verifies that the SECOND outage is now over, in less than an hour. That includes Sanislo. Again, if you are still without power somewhere, please call to be sure SCL knows – there might be pocket outages here and there.
11:26 AM: While the power’s back for all except a spot here and there (here’s the “live” map), the storm is still going full strength – we’ve just been down and around a few spots including Constellation Park south of Alki Point, adding photo (top).
11:57 AM: We’ll be launching an afternoon edition of storm coverage soon. Meantime, latest trouble spot we’ve heard about is south of West Seattle – trees down on the north lanes of 1st Avenue South near 116th, in Top Hat.