Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged

October 7, 2015 at 10:44 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

We’ve had (and are having) some rain, and water-saving has topped the city’s request, but don’t stop now, the regional water utilities are imploring you in this update:

Fall has arrived, but consistent fall rains have not. Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma remain in the second stage of their drought response plans. The water systems rely on fall rains to fill the reservoirs so there is enough water for people and fish. Customers in the region have reduced their use over the past eight weeks by a total of 14 percent. The cities are asking their customers to continue to reduce their water use.

This time of year is critical in the salmon life cycle, as they migrate back from the ocean and travel up their native rivers to spawn. Both the amount and temperature of water in rivers affect their ability to conserve energy, avoid predators and successfully spawn.

… The total water level in SPU’s reservoirs is at 74 percent of what would be typical for this time of year.

Click to read the rest of Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged…

FALL EQUINOX TOMORROW: Alice’s sunset watch is on!

September 22, 2015 at 9:53 am | In Skies Over West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

Fall officially arrives early tomorrow – 1:22 am our time- and yes, West Seattle’s own NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen has confirmed this morning that she WILL help you welcome the new season with her 26th seasonal-sunset-watch event at Solstice Park tomorrow night. Be there by 6:30 pm Wednesday to (among other fun and educational things) see how the sunset lines up with the park’s special markers – which were not on hand for the summer solstice, due to restoration work, but, we are told, have since been returned. Solstice Park is east of the north end of Lincoln Park; Alice’s website has directions. See you there! (WSB photo from Alice’s 2014 fall-equinox event)

West Seattle weekend scene: Rainbow on summer’s last Sunday

September 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 3 Comments

6:11 PM: Today we’ve seen sun, wind, rain … and a rainbow. Thanks for sharing photos; this one is from Travis on the east edge of The Junction, via Twitter.

ADDED 7:15 PM: Thanks to David Williams from this view from the Charlestown/44th vicinity:

P.S. Autumn officially arrives at 1:22 am this Wednesday morning (September 23rd).

ADDED 10:43 PM: And congratulations to newlyweds Meghan and Matt Miller – who came home from their wedding reception to find the rainbow over their Highland Park home!

STORM COVERAGE: Windy in West Seattle; power-outage updates; downed trees; 35th SW closure

August 29, 2015 at 11:34 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 60 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for updates – most recent one, 5:53 pm)

11:34 AM: The wind has arrived – as the National Weather Service warned it would – and the first outages are on Seattle City Light‘s map: Both small, both blamed on trees, one on Seola Beach Drive in southwesternmost West Seattle, one in Westwood near 34th/Cloverdale. We’ll be tracking the storm here throughout the afternoon – if there’s tree, power, road, etc. trouble where you are, please let us know (after you’ve alerted the authorities) – thanks!

12:27 PM: As Taz just pointed out in comments, there’s a new outage by Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Since the wind’s out of the south/southwest, that’s the side of the West Seattle waterfront feeling it the most – we’re further down Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz right now – see the short phone-video clip above.

12:43 PM: The Alki Point-area outage is now up to 138 customers, according to the SCL map, which has added a new West Seattle outage, in North Delridge.

12:51 PM: Along with a tree that’s been leaning against wires and a fence just north of West Seattle Stadium over the NB lanes of 35th SW for a while (added above: photo of that tree, sent by Chuck Jacobs – thanks!), we now have a report that a tree’s down on Highland Park Way.

(Photos from Sarahjean – [updated] Sylvan Way branch cleared by her husband, first photo, and bus riders, 2nd photo)
1:12 PM: According to MetPatrick via Twitter, the HP Way tree/branch is cleared out of the roadway. While we’re in a sunbreak, it won’t likely last – dark clouds heading up from the south/southwest and rain is still in the forecast.

1:36 PM: New updates in comments (thank you!) – a tree blocking Marine View Drive at California. By the way, in case you wondered, waves vs. shore action is not too bad because low tide was at 11 am and high tide – fairly high, 11.7 feet, since the moon’s full – isn’t until about quarter till 6 this evening. (added) Be careful wherever you walk/ride/drive – lots of tree branches and twigs down too – WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sent this from 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe:

2:19 PM: The tree over NB 35th SW north of West Seattle Stadium, mentioned earlier, now has police blocking the outside NB lane and yellow tape closing the sidewalk from the south side of the stadium entrance:

Crews are stretched around the city, so it might be a while before this can be addressed, and it will be tricky because it’s on the other side of the fence along 35th. Elsewhere – looks like this tree did some damage to a vehicle – the texter described the location as North Delridge, near Pearls:

Newest outage on the map is near 28th/Holden, as of of less than 10 minutes ago, another small one, at least as gauged so far.

2:43 PM: The Alki Point outage has been upped to 190 customers, with restoration guesstimate around 7 pm (remember, those are really just guesses, but it’s what you’ll see on the SCL outage map); commenters have mentioned an outage east of Fairmount Park but that one doesn’t seem to be on the map. Look here for what IS showing; call 206-684-3000 if you’re out and not sure the utility knows already.

Above, a photo texted to us from 25th/Cloverdale – note the vehicle under the tree. The wind warning remains in effect until 6 pm.

3:21 PM: Drove the length of Marine View Drive, now all clear (aside from twigs, needles, stems here and there, like just about every road we’ve traveled today).

3:32 PM: Via e-mail, Chas says 35th is now closed at the scene of the tree mentioned earlier – we’ll head back out to check in a moment. West Seattle still has five outages on the map, the biggest one, the 190 customers out south of Alki Point.

And, via text, another tree-branch-on-vehicle, this time 24th/Holden:

If you’re wondering what happened to the predicted rain – showers remain in the forecast throughout the day, then potentially heavier rain tonight.

4:55 PM: 35th is indeed blocked off by police – though Metro’s getting through – between Alaska and Avalon, until the unsafe-tree situation is handled. We’ll be checking back. The wind, meantime, has calmed, even here in the southwest-exposed area where we are. For some, the afternoon’s weather was pure fun:

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo from Alki Point.

5:09 PM: Kristin reports another dangling-tree-against-wire-over-road situation, this one over the west side of Sylvan between High Point and Delridge. She has reported to authorities. And Guy sent us this photo of one at 39th and Manning:

Do be sure to report these – start with City Light at 206-684-3000 – their crews are still slammed all around the city right now so you might not see anyone for a while, but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the list. Speaking of City Light, the map shows a new, small outage, this time in Seaview, near 45th and Findlay. That means seven pocket outages around WS.

5:53 PM: Thanks to Thom for the photo of crews working by Bar-S Field, in/by the Alki Point outage zone:

Meantime, the rain’s back, with the second intense cloudburst right now in less than half an hour.

6:58 PM: Checked while out a few minutes ago, and 35th remains blocked between Alaska and Avalon. One more traffic note – Dave warns that it’s slippery on the ramp from the bridge to NB 99.

7:25 PM: The SCL map shows the South Alki outage fixed – please let us know in comments if that’s not the case.

8:32 PM: In case you didn’t see this in comments – the “boat taking on water/minor” call that briefly brought a sizable SFD response to Beach Drive involved a boat with no one on board, according to a neighbor who says it belongs to someone who lives in the area and adds that SFD pumped some water out of it before departing. Now, a view from early this morning, before the wind kicked up – Ken Pendergrass made this serene time-lapse video from his Duwamish Head balcony:

Ken says the recording covers a time span from around 7 am to 10 am.

11:52 PM: We’ve launched a NEW story to cover the big new outage that just happened in Highland Park and beyond – go here.

West Seattle weather: ‘High Wind Warning’ in effect until 6 pm

August 29, 2015 at 8:52 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

The weather alert that started as a “Wind Advisory” has been upgraded to a “High Wind Warning,” in effect through 6 pm tonight. The National Weather Service says the strongest wind is expected 10 am-4 pm, out of the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45-50 mph. That’s a fall-strength storm, as the NWS points out.

WEATHER ALERT: ‘Wind Advisory’ for West Seattle and vicinity tomorrow; Alki Point Lighthouse tours canceled

August 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 3 Comments

WEATHER ALERT: The National Weather Service now has a “Wind Advisory” up for our area for 11 am-5 pm Saturday, forecasting wind from the south at 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. That could be enough to bring down trees/limbs and cause power outages, so be sure to charge everything you need to have charged, as well as taking other steps. Significant rain remains in the forecast, too.

CANCELLATION: Just before news of the alert, we heard from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is canceling Alki Point Lighthouse tours for tomorrow, and will assess Sunday’s outlook later. Debra Alderman from the Auxiliary says they do plan to host tours all three days on Labor Day weekend, but after that, your next chance won’t be until Memorial Day weekend 2016. (Any other weather-related cancellations/postponements? Please let us know so we can help get the word out.)

West Seattle sunsets: One more time, before the smoke clears

August 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

(Photo by Jim Clark)

(Photo by Tiff Rivera)
Unfortunately, of course, while the air clears here, the fires rage on – almost 800,000 acres involved in “active” fires on the InciWeb list.

West Seattle sunset: Sliding through a still-smoky sky

August 22, 2015 at 10:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 3 Comments

Thanks to Ann Anderson for the view (from Seattle & Sunset in North Admiral) of tonight’s smoky sunset. People are still finding it hard to believe, but it’s true – what you see and smell is all smoke from the wildfires raging around the state, mostly to the east. We featured moonset and sunrise views this morning along with Cliff Mass‘s explanation and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency‘s forecast for the wind to “reverse” tomorrow”; the National Weather Service says tonight that changing flows might not clear it out until late Sunday. More photos to add later!

Seeing it? Smelling it? ‘Large smoke cloud’ over our area

August 22, 2015 at 2:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 17 Comments

(Friday night photo by David Moya)
Yes, that’s wildfire smoke coloring our skies – yellowish haze right now, last night’s moonset (above), today’s sunrise (below)

(Saturday morning photo by Craig Young)
If you’re sensitive, you probably have even noticed a smoky smell in the air – two people messaged us last night from different areas of West Seattle, wondering if there was a major fire close by. You can find many images and explanations on the Web, but the most comprehensive combination we’ve found so far is from weather analyst Cliff Mass, who published this update on his site, headlined, “Large Smoke Cloud Heads for Puget Sound.” (Puget Sound Clean Air Agency expects the wind to change tomorrow, improving the air quality here.) For information on specific fires, InciWeb is a good source (other suggestions welcome!).

West Seattle scene: Another sunset sky full of beauty

August 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

Thanks to James Bratsanos for sharing tonight’s sunset view … still a month-plus of summer nights left, even as the sun makes its exit a little earlier each evening, already almost an hour earlier (8:18 pm tonight) than the latest summer sunset (9:11 pm on July 1st).

P.S. Check the sunset/sunrise and moonset/moonrise times on the WSB West Seattle Weather page, any time.

West Seattle storm watch: How much rain, & how much more?

August 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 7 Comments

It’s been raining for about five hours now, and so talk has turned to wondering how much rain, and how much longer it’ll continue. The National Weather Service says totals vary widely, area to area – almost an inch at Sea-Tac this afternoon – and that showers will linger, but that after tomorrow morning, a “drier and warmer” trend will take over quickly, so weekend events – including West Seattle Outdoor Movies on Saturday night – should be OK. We’ve checked around this afternoon and besides the problems chronicled earlier – crashes and small outages – no major problems in West Seattle; as intense as this rain has been, it still fell into drought-depleted creeks, for example, so we’re not seeing any overflows. One more stat: More than 650 lightning strikes in Western Washington, per the NWS.

West Seattle weather watch: Early-morning thunder & lightning

August 14, 2015 at 3:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 18 Comments

3:02 AM: Yes, that was thunder you just heard (maybe it woke you up). We noticed lightning to the southwest a little while ago, and now the thunderstorm is getting closer. This short-term weather alert from the National Weather Service says the activity is likely to continue until 5 am or so; showers are expected throughout the day, with up to a quarter-inch of rain, per the newest forecast.

5:07 AM: Another thunderstorm is moving through right now.

West Seattle sky sight: Thunderstorm time-lapse

August 13, 2015 at 1:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

Thanks to Flint Hayes for sharing time-lapse video recorded during yesterday’s off-on storms – no lightning, but notice how suddenly the first showers seem to just drop from the clouds! The vantage point is from Flint’s home near 35th SW and Avalon, north of West Seattle Stadium. More rain expected tomorrow, by the way!

West Seattle weather alert: Thunderstorms move through, leaving notable rainfall behind

August 12, 2015 at 11:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 21 Comments

11:32 AM: Thanks to Darcey for that photo, tweeted from White Center, looking south. She sent it just as thunderstorms are moving through the area. The National Weather Service issued a short-term alert a few minutes ago, saying this is likely to last for the next hour or so.

NOON UPDATE: The rain intensified but is now getting lighter, as is the sky. Meantime, weather analyst Cliff Mass showed a different perspective of what you see in Darcey’s photo above, and noted that what’s seen from the clouds is “virga.”

(Another perspective, from Barb)
12:15 PM UPDATE: Rain’s stopped, sun’s out. That was enough rain for puddles on the road, though. Also: Seattle Parks temporarily closed all its outdoor aquatics facilities – Colman Pool included – because of the thunderstorm and lightning danger. We’ll update if we get word they’re open again. Parks says the wading pools will NOT reopen, “because of the time and water it takes to drain and re-fill them.”

1:25 PM: The clouds rolled back in again and we’ve just heard more thunder.

1:49 PM: The first round of rainfall was a pretty decent dousing, says the NWS:

West Seattle summer: Two-stage sunset paints the sky

August 10, 2015 at 9:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

If you were lucky enough to watch it in real time, you know tonight’s sunset had two stages – the first, shown above in Jim Spraker‘s photo, was a beautiful pastel pink – and then, instead of fading from there, it deepened, as shown in Chris Frankovich‘s photo below:

Might just have been a reminder that tomorrow could bring an encore of 90-degree weather, after which things are scheduled to get back to “normal.”

West Seattle scenes: 2nd round of ‘Blue Moon,’ Blue Angels views

July 31, 2015 at 10:53 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

Second night in a row, everything’s coming up Blue …

Chris Frankovich shares tonight’s moonrise, still the “Blue Moon” … (Added) Mike Jensen‘s view includes a state ferry (at Vigor) in the foreground:

Here’s why it’s called a “blue moon.”

And from this afternoon’s Seafair airshow practice, Karin shares a Blue Angels flyby:

She was at work on Mercer Island when she took the photo.

Saturday’s Blue Angels (etc.) schedule:
*I-90 bridge closed 11:50-2:40 pm
*Blue Angels go up in the 1:30-ish vicinity (could be earlier, could be later) – watch for support C-130 “Fat Albert first; we noticed it making a few passes over West Seattle in the 1:25 pm vicinity today
*Other Seafair airshow acts might be visible from here, especially if you’re looking toward Boeing Field from eastern West Seattle (or watching from along the Boeing Field runway) – here’s the schedule/list

West Seattle weather: Another ‘heat advisory’ on the way

July 29, 2015 at 10:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 17 Comments

Thanks to Mike Jensen for sharing that view of a bald eagle hanging out in a tree by Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, watching tonight’s sunset. You might want to identify a shade tree of your own for the next few days, because the National Weather Service has announced a “heat advisory” alert for noon Thursday through 9 pm Saturday – all three days are expected to have high temperatures in the 90s (and Sunday won’t be too far behind).

P.S. If you want a different perspective on 90-degree heat … note that today was the sixth anniversary of the hottest day in recorded Seattle history, when the high hit 103 degrees.

West Seattle weather: Yes, that was thunder. ‘Short-term forecast’ alert

July 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

5:24 PM: If you hadn’t noticed it’s been raining for the better part of an hour – the thunder might have startled you. The National Weather Service does have our area under a “short-term forecast” alert, including thunderstorms and possibly even “small hail.” (On the literally bright side, the forecast says sun returns Tuesday and continues through Seafair’s big weekend.)

5:57 PM: Added a photo shared by Lise Thivierge, who says the neighbors were out “celebrating the rain.”

West Seattle weekend scene: Mesmerizing moonset, with Venus

July 19, 2015 at 12:27 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 3 Comments

After our area’s biggest day of summer fun – a mesmerizing moonset, with Venus in view. Thanks to David Hutchinson for the view from Alki Beach, above; below, Gary Jones caught a slightly later view from Alki Point:

P.S. You can check the moon phase and moonset/moonrise time (along with sunset/sunrise) any time on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.

West Seattle sunset: Weekend’s painted-sky start

July 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

(Photo by Lura Ercolano)
A show in the sky as we head into another big weekend of summer fun – with 90ish highs forecast to return.

(Photo by Greg)
Thanks for sharing the photos! (

West Seattle sunset: Lingering smoke brings a vivid encore

July 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

9:27 PM: As the forest-fire smoke continues to linger, tonight brought another vividly hued sunset. Thanks to James Bratsanos for the photo. Don’t count on a three-peat tomorrow – the National Weather Service‘s forecast discussion says tonight that “the smoke should leave the area Thursday morning as flow aloft becomes more southerly.”

ADDED 9:36 PM: Thanks to Jamie Kinney for this view:

West Seattle sunset: As seen through the smoke

July 7, 2015 at 11:23 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

Smoke from fires to the north of us filtered tonight’s sunset in a big way – enough to see sunspots in some of the views we received, including the one by Neal Chism, above. The big pink moon sun was just a disc suspended in the sky for a while, as shown in John Bartell‘s photo …

… until, as shown in Long Bach Nguyen‘s photo below from Gatewood, it edged behind the Olympics:

Long also shared a sunspot view – note the band of smoky haze:

You might recall similar sunset views back in April, when smoke drifted this way from fires in Siberia.

West Seattle weather: 90s continue, as does ‘heat advisory’ alert

July 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

(Photo by James Bratsanos)
A hot-pink sunset starts another hot night. The National Weather Service‘s “heat advisory” alert for our area is now extended until at least 9 pm tomorrow; the NWS also made this observation, “An interesting climate stat: Sea-Tac Airport averages 3 days of 90 degrees or better per year. Today’s high of 93 was the third day of 90-plus this year, and it is only July 2nd.” (An NWS tweet adds that it’s been 80+ for five days in a row, 15 of the last 30.) We’re still in the 80s right now, and it’s after 10 pm; the forecast still says Sunday will be the hottest day of the week, mid-90s.

(Added: Photo by John Hinkey)
P.S. If you have an eastern view, the full moon has risen!

West Seattle weather: ‘Heat advisory’ through Thursday

July 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

That’s the late-afternoon scene at E.C. Hughes Wading Pool in West Seattle, which opened for the season today; from here on out, it’s the full wading-pool schedule for the rest of the summer. Just in time, too, as the warmer-than-normal weather continues; the National Weather Service has the city under a Heat Advisory until Thursday night, with temperatures potentially reaching into the 90s again tomorrow.

West Seattle scene: Sweet sunset, with a holiday on the way

June 29, 2015 at 10:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

Tonight, no excuse for running pretty sunset photos – no weather alerts, for example – James Bratsanos just happened to share the photos, and with the holiday on the way, a sunset-pic break just feels like the right thing to do before the next few stories we’re working on.

Forecasters now say the 4th of July is expected to get into the mid-80s, cooling a bit from temps that they believe will peak on Thursday in the low 90s.

WEATHER ALERT: ‘Excessive heat watch’ for Friday/Saturday

June 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 5 Comments

It’s hot already – 86 degrees at the top of the hour, according to the closest official National Weather Service gauge at Boeing Field, and this isn’t even typically the hottest time of day. But the NWS now verifies it’s going to get hotter, and has issued an Excessive Heat Watch alert for Friday/Saturday – see it here. By Saturday afternoon, it could be into the mid-90s, says the NWS. The mayor’s office, meantime, has published a list of “cooling centers,” including, in West Seattle, the Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) and High Point (35th/Raymond) branches of the Seattle Public Library, and the Senior Center of WS (Oregon/California). We’ll be compiling a list of other air-conditioned locations – – thanks!

West Seattle weekend scene: 2015 summer’s first sunset

June 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | Comments Off

Thanks to Lynn Hall for capturing the end of the longest day of the year, almost 12 hours after the arrival of summer. Tonight’s sunset came 16 hours after sunrise; now the days start getting a bit shorter, as Alice Enevoldsen explained at last night’s quarterly Solstice Park sunset watch. Most notable in the days ahead: The forecast suggests hotter weather next weekend – upper 80s on Sunday.

(added) Wider shot from Upper Alki, by JayDee:

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