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.)
Must have been some rainbow! Thanks to everybody who has shared photos. We start with three – above, from Babs, who says her friendly neighborhood crow Buddy didn’t mind posing. Next, from Buzz Shaw:
From 15-year-old Samantha:
And via the WSB Facebook page, from Debbie:
Now … back to the rain. And wind.
ADDED 9:24 PM: Thanks for sharing more rainbow photos! From David Hutchinson:
A few more to come.
The seasons have officially changed – West Seattle’s NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen has carried off yet another successful sunset watch, something she’s been doing for 20 equinoxes and solstices – that’s 5 years of season changes. At Solstice Park, she showed young attendees how to practice telescope/microscope techniques on tissue tubes. And when it was time to demonstrate what the equinox means to our planet, she had an even younger helper:
That’s Alice’s almost-3-year-old daughter Vera, who made a few orbits of the globe that Alice uses as a prop. The sunset, meantime, cooperated, and put on its own show:
Those, Alice explained, are crepuscular rays. The ~20 people who showed up tonight just got lucky with the sunset show.
In addition to her own website Alice’s Astro Info – where the summer-solstice sunset-viewing event is already scheduled for June 21st! – Alice is also our Skies Over West Seattle correspondent, with periodic updates on what to watch for, from comets to eclipses and more.
Yes, we know, that’s a SUNRISE (photo courtesy of Karen, this past Thursday) and Alice Enevoldsen‘s events are SUNSET gatherings. But we didn’t want the attention-getting beauty to go to waste. Get ready to celebrate spring, which arrives a few hours after sunrise on Thursday (March 20th) – just before 10 am. Then you’ll want to come to Solstice Park east of Lincoln Park for sunset, which is a few minutes past 7, but you’re advised to arrive around 6:45. Alice has just published the official invitation on her Alice’s Astro Info website; it’s an all-ages event, fun and educational. (Alice will also be happy to talk with you about the new discoveries out in space.)
Two photos from Perry, who explains: “It was sunny out (Thursday), so we decided to have a little fun with some mirrors and the side of the OutWest bar.” That’s Perry’s friend and her ferret, above, and here’s Perry:
Perry adds, “A few strangers stopped by and helped, too. It was really fun!”
Since the first sunset of Daylight Saving Time 2014 last night was out of sight behind thick clouds, tonight was the first REAL sunset since we set the clocks ahead for the spring and summer. And we have two beautiful views – from James Bratsanos, above, and Will Pro, below:
P.S. Check the sunset time – or sunrise, or moonrise, or moonset, or high/low tides, among other things – any time, via the WSB West Seattle Weather page.
How rainy is it? In the late afternoon, West Seattle-based environmental advocate “Diver Laura” James – whose specialties include stormwater-runoff education – caught these maxed-out sewer covers at the east dead-end of Yancy between West Seattle Athletic Club and Longfellow Creek (map).
The National Weather Service has two alerts out for our area – a Special Weather Statement that warns the rain “has led to an increased threat of landslides in Western Washington … The threat will increase tonight into midday Sunday as heavy rain affects the area. Several inches of rain over the past several days has increased soil moisture to high levels across Western Washington,” and a Flood Watch that speaks for itself. Here, by the way, is the runoff’s outfall to Longfellow, as noted by Laura:
To find out how to minimize the toxicity of what’s in runoff water, check out tox-ick.org. You can also check this real-time map to see which marked outfalls have combined-sewer overflows happening right now, the same kind of overflows that city and county projects under way now are aiming to reduce.
P.S. The NWS says the official gauge at Sea-Tac has collected almost four inches of rain in the first week of March – ending yesterday.
(Photo courtesy Jaydee)
Though some clouds were around at sunset, as our Skies Over West Seattle correspondent Alice Enevoldsen tweeted a little while ago, it’s a great night for stargazing. And for walking, which Laddie and Polly did, from Alki to Anchor Park:
(Photo courtesy Christine)
Earlier – even for wading:
(Photo by John Hinkey)
Thanks to everyone who shared photos! P.S. Remember Daylight Saving Time arrives tomorrow night – 2 am Sunday; spring is less than two weeks away – March 20th.
Last one didn’t pan out – the one before that did – so hey, who knows what’ll happen this time! The National Weather Service has another Special Weather Statement in effect; see the entire alert here. The scenario is similar to last weekend, when the North Sound got a big blast of snow (and we didn’t), but there’s also a chance the cold air and moisture could push this far south. Stay tuned.
SIDE NOTE: Only one more week until we “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time – Saturday night/Sunday morning, March 8-9.
(Click image for larger view – close enough to see the snow-covered trees!)
Down to the final four weeks of winter, and the Olympic Mountains finally have a truly wintry amount of snow! Thanks to Chris Frankovich for capturing this morning’s fully frosted view!
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