West Seattle, Washington
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.
Wednesday night’s sunset was about the clouds more than the color:
That was JayDee‘s view from Upper Alki. Below, from James Bratsanos in southwest West Seattle:
And from Bill Schrier via Twitter:
— Bill Schrier (@billschrier) July 7, 2016
Thanks to all who shared photos!
Now that it’s Wednesday night, can’t help looking ahead to the holiday – just five days until Independence Day (next Monday, July 4th). Our special page with holiday info and events is up now, too – if you haven’t already seen it linked from our spotlight boxes or navigation bar, here it is. But tonight, the sunset put on an early show! Thanks to JayDee for the photo above – and the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One crew for the one below:
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) June 30, 2016
(That was their view as they were leaving the WC/North Burien/Shorewood area after this search.)
(Photo by Brandon Sparks, via Twitter)
10:36 PM: Did you see and/or hear that burst of thunder/lightning? At least it held off until after Alice’s summer-solstice sunless-sunset watch!
The National Weather Service’s short-term-forecast alert says “isolated thunderstorms” are possible until midnight.
(Added: Photo by Raynea Crittenden, shared via WSB Facebook page)
10:47 PM: Checking the City Light outage map, we see 106 customers in South Park are without electricity, and that it’s blamed on a lightning strike.
11:27 PM: Police and medics are headed for 26th and Barton, where a driver is reported to have hit a pedestrian.
11:32 PM: Emergency crews on scene are calling for a private ambulance, indicating the injuries are not major.
11:41 PM: That’s changed – now scanner traffic indicates the man has a fracture and will be taken to Harborview to be checked out.
11:55 PM: Westbound Barton had been closed but, per scanner, will be reopened shortly. Meantime, in case you’re reading this later and sleeping through the storm, it’s still raining fairly hard after more than an hour.
12:37 AM: And now … the rain has tapered off, at least here, east of Lincoln Park.
4:21 AM Texter says a tree is down across Fairmount Avenue in the 2200 block.
Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos of the colors that blanketed the sky after tonight’s sunset! First, from Tim Courson @ Brace Point:
From James Bratsanos:
And from JayDee in Upper Alki:
Tomorrow’s sunset will be the first one of summer, and you can watch it from a prime viewing spot at Solstice Park during Alice Enevoldsen‘s 29th solstice/equinox sunset watch! Get there by 8:45 pm.
Thanks to the anonymous reader who texted that photo, taken from Cormorant Cove at sunset. We got a closer look in the next photo e-mailed by Chris Frankovich:
Bonus pre-sunset view – Paul Panzl shared this scene from Genesee Hill a few hours earlier:
Thanks as always to everyone sharing photos – from beauty to breaking news and beyond – email@example.com or, text 206-293-6302.
Thanks to Patrick Kelly for the tip – the National Weather Service has upgraded the weather alert to a “heat advisory” for most of the weekend, noon Saturday through 9 pm Sunday. (See the alert here.) Temperatures in the 90s are possible both days. Our most-recent lists of air-conditioned spots are a few years old now, so if you have new favorites, suggestions appreciated!
P.S. A reader requests that we remind you to NOT leave your pet in the car, especially during the extra-warm weather!
You’ve probably already heard it’s going to be very warm this weekend – but you should also know that the National Weather Service says it could get very *hot*. It’s issued a “special weather statement” warning that the hottest temperatures of the year are possible this weekend, maybe into the mid-90s.
Our top photo is by James Bratsanos, who observed that the sky looked “on fire” during tonight’s sunset. It was a colorful conclusion to a gray day; here’s a wider view from Lynn Hall:
The forecast for tomorrow sounds a lot like today – but sunshine is still expected Monday!
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!