(WSB photo taken late today: Hockey on a frozen pond in White Center)
We know winter hasn’t even officially started yet – a week and a half until the solstice – yet it doesn’t get much wintrier than these past several days of mostly below-freezing, at times way-below-freezing, air. By this time tomorrow, forecasters say, the temperature will be rising back toward the normal range. So far tonight, the rumblings of possibly a little bit of snow have come true here and there – Admiral District in the 9 pm hour, Westwood a little earlier – but that’s about it, so far. If you see otherwise in the hours ahead, please let us all know with a comment here!
11:26 AM: Two weather notes: First, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has ended the latest King County burn ban, saying, “An increase in wind speeds is expected this evening and possible precipitation later in the day. Pollution is not likely to build to levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups and clearing is expected once a front comes in and wind speeds increase.” Second, the latest version of the National Weather Service’s ongoing “special weather statement” alert still foresees potential “light snow” this afternoon. Let us know if and when you see some – we’re on watch too.
11:55 AM: A bit of VERY light flurrying in North Delridge, tweets MetPatrick.
When you head out to enjoy some of the outdoor holiday festivities ahead, like the Our Lady of Guadalupe tree lighting tonight and the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays tree lighting tomorrow (both in our Holiday Guide), you might consider an extra layer of coat, gloves, socks, scarf, everything you can find. The National Weather Service published a “special weather statement” alert late today saying it’s likely to be colder this weekend than it’s been in at least three years. Maybe into the teens.
(Thanks to Jason Grotelueschen for the Admiral view!)
6:27 PM: After what seemed like endless days of weather alerts, some wintriness is finally arriving tonight (the reason for that ill-fated de-icing) – freezing rain/hail/sleet/graupel in areas (haven’t seen it firsthand ourselves yet – just heavy rain here over Lincoln Park). The National Weather Service has a short-term-forecast alert out, saying that what’s hitting us now is “a broad area of snow and rain showers with embedded snow pellets.” A bit later, the NWS says, “another line of snow showers will spread south … Any of these showers will leave a quick snow accumulation of one-half inch or so, enough to turn the ground white. However, air temperatures of 36 to 40 degrees will cause any snow to melt in less than one to two hours.”
(Thanks to Jackson from the Ventana Construction [sponsor] family for the Morgan Junction view!)
6:53 PM UPDATE: Looks like frozen something has suddenly hit here. Going out for a pic. Send one if you have one from your neighborhood! firstname.lastname@example.org
(From Julie in Fairmount Springs)
7:24 PM UPDATE: Adding more photos – even as what graupel/etc. we saw here can be heard melting in the gutter.
(Admiral photo – dog tracks in the ‘snow’ – by Beth Ferreira)
7:57 PM UPDATE: The “short-term forecast” has expired. We should get the National Weather Service’s newest forecast within the next hour and a half, to see what they’re projecting for overnight/morning.
8:03 PM UPDATE: Just got a call from a Gatewood resident saying power’s out in their area around 40th/Webster (map). Anyone else?
8:40 PM UPDATE: Seattle City Light told us via Twitter they’d heard from two customers, and we haven’t heard from others, so apparently a small outage. They said a crew was en route.
(Photo by Sassy B, taken from Constellation Park)
The curtain has fallen on a windy day – fun for some, like the kiteboarder shown above, and challenging for others; some vendors at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market went without tents/canopies for fear the canvas tops would take wing and fly away, and a few almost did. So what now? The National Weather Service revised its “special weather statement” alert this afternoon, saying that much-colder air is finally on its way in tonight. Snow? Maybe a little, on the higher hills, the NWS says, but just maybe, in flurry/shower mode tomorrow. But the big point they’re emphasizing is that it’s going to be cold all week.
6:24 PM: The outlook for the next few days keeps evolving – as does the content of the “special weather statement” alert from the National Weather Service. Now, it looks like:
-Very rainy, starting tonight
-Much colder by Monday, with lows in the mid-teens/20s much of next week
-Snow? Maybe a little … and then, the long-range outlook suggests, a chance again toward week’s end
P.S. Here’s Cliff Mass‘s take on it all.
8:28 AM SUNDAY: No special advisories added for this morning’s wind, but the newest forecast warns it could gust up to 40 mph.
We’re continuing to keep an eye on the National Weather Service‘s long-range forecast and that possibility of wintry weather late in the weekend and/or early in the week. Today’s mid-morning update continues to warn of mountain snow toward weekend’s end – important info if holiday-weekend travel requires a trip through the pass(es) – but isn’t too bullish on the prospect of lowland snow beyond perhaps a few showers. Forecasters DO seem certain it will be colder than normal, at least for the first few days of next week. As for tomorrow – shopping! parade! – might see some rain.
Two quick weather-related notes: First, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has canceled the burn ban in King County. Second, the National Weather Service is still predicting much-colder weather to sweep in toward the end of the weekend, and the Special Weather Statement alert remains in effect, but they’re still being cautious about any possible lowland snow. Mountain snow, however, does seem like a sure thing for Sunday, so if you are eastbound for the holiday weekend, an early return might be in order.
4:09 PM: Remember our note yesterday about the possible, potential, maybe, might-happen really cold weather? The National Weather Service has now published a “special weather statement” about it. NWS says the temperatures are expected to drop big time starting Sunday night and says that – while it’s still too early to be certain – “lowland snow” is a possibility. Again, if you’re heading out for the long holiday weekend, check in before you come back!
10:48 PM UPDATE: Renowned weather analyst Cliff Mass has weighed in. He sees the same POTENTIAL – but cautions it’s early.
As forecasts around here go, one week out is usually too early to take much stock in anything. But – just in case you’ll be checking out soon to focus on holiday matters – you should be forewarned to keep a closer watch on the forecast than usual, especially if you’re heading out of town. The long-range forecast discussion from the local National Weather Service says models suggest low snow levels and a potential “modified Arctic blast” Sunday-Monday. We should note that frequent WSB forecast-providing commenter “MetPatrick” pointed this one out via Twitter one full day ago, also noting that Monday includes a nationally televised Seahawks home game, often a magnet for weather challenges … Stay tuned for updates.
“Fire in the sky” is how Chris Frankovich described the view of tonight’s sunset he shared (top photo) – one of three we’ve received so far. Next, Monty focused on Mount Rainier in the sunset glow:
And more colorful beauty from Michael Copeland:
Michael says he was surprised: “I thought the awesome sunsets were over!” (Maybe more to come – rain/major cloudiness isn’t expected for up to a week.)
Following up on the NOAA weather balloon that came down to earth in Fauntleroy the other day (here’s our previous report) … tipster Michael shares word of the aftermath. Above, a Seattle City Light crew came to untangle the recyclable data-gathering device from the “primary” electric line that snagged it; below, remains of the balloon, including a note about where it was launched and when…
If you couldn’t read it – Michael points out it was sent up from Forks near the northwestern Washington coast (140+ miles away) and dated the same day it came down in Fauntleroy – November 13th. In case you ever see one – NOAA even includes a postage-paid bag with the balloons, in hopes of increasing the 20 percent return rate.
For the second day in a row, something has fallen out of the sky and into a West Seattle neighborhood. Tuesday, suspected plane parts in Gatewood; today, a weather balloon in Fauntleroy. Our photo shows its information-gathering component, a radiosonde, hanging from a utility line near tipster Michael‘s house; the blue NOAA logo is clearly visible, as is “HARMLESS WEATHER INSTRUMENT” and some explanatory text. Michael says what was left of the balloon turned up on his neighbor’s roof. We matched the item in the photo to this page on NOAA’s website, which explains that weather balloons are launched daily from 102 sites around the U.S. Here’s part of the backstory:
As the balloon rises through the atmosphere, radiosonde sensors measure and transmit profiles of air pressure, temperature and relative humidity from the Earth’s surface to about 20 miles high in the sky. While in flight, radiosonde sensors also obtain data for wind direction and speed.
Radiosonde data are received by a ground-tracking receiver, which processes it for transmission to weather forecasters and other data users. This information is a primary source of upper-air data for weather prediction models.
NOAA’s website says the balloons rise up to 100,000 feet before popping. This NOAA image shows one about to be launched in Rapid City, South Dakota:
Michael plans to contact NOAA, whose website says only 20 percent of the radiosondes are returned, though each one comes with its own postage-paid bag! (Hard to tell that when the device is hanging off an overhead wire, though.) P.S. Here are the official instructions on what to do if YOU ever find one.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: If you liked last Saturday’s weather – stand by for a possible encore tomorrow. The National Weather Service has just announced a wind advisory will be in effect for our area and the rest of the Western Washington lowlands, 3 am to 8 pm tomorrow. Right now, the alert – read it here in its entirety – forecasts wind out of the south, 20-30 mph with possible gusts to 45. (Last Saturday’s peak gusts were around 60.) We’ll update here if the forecast changes with the NWS’s next review cycle this evening.
THURSDAY MORNING: Overnight, NWS pushed the advisory back, to 7 am-8 pm Thursday – here’s the new text.
(35th/Webster signal still without power when photographed 2:30 pm Sunday)
11:52 AM: Seattle City Light says it’s down to fixing the smaller outage pockets now, from among the tens of thousands who lost power during Saturday’s storm. Among the hoping-to-be-fixed-soon pockets is a section of east Gatewood, where anyone driving California SW last night would have noticed the streetlights burned out for a two-plus-block stretch. Mariko just e-mailed to say, “We’re in the 7500 block of California Ave. We’re going on over 24 hours now. They’re reporting 1:40 for power to be restored!” This outage area has never been displayed on the SCL map and still isn’t shown, so we don’t know how many homes are affected.
12:26 PM UPDATE: Part of Sunrise Heights is affected too, east of 35th – Brian has been tweeting about it.
P.S. If you spot fire crews in Gatewood – that’s for a gas leak around 39th/Othello, not related to the power outage so far as we know.
3:01 PM UPDATE: 35th/Webster stoplight still out, too. But we just spotted City Light on California in the outage zone – not sure of their eventual destination, though. One resident says the “estimated restoration time” has been pushed back yet again – to 8:40 pm. SCL says via Twitter that fewer than 1,000 homes/businesses remain without power – but they are in more than 100 separate locations:
Crews still working. Still have est 658 customers without power with 119 reported outage locations. http://t.co/eMfXeQ9FPp has latest
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) November 3, 2013
This area is not on the map, SCL tweeted earlier, because it’s part of the area with old 4-kilovolt equipment – as was an outage earlier this fall. We checked with SCL then and they say all that equipment will be replaced by 2015.
6:51 PM UPDATE: Anyone in West Seattle still out? If so, this SCL message is for you:
Crews continue to make progress. 470 left to be restored but have to respond to over 100 locations to complete work. If still without power call 206-684-3000 to make sure we know about your problem. At this stage have to rely on customer calls to know where problems are.
(SCROLL DOWN for new photos, updates … EARLIER COVERAGE from morning/early pm can be seen here)
We’re launching a new report here (see the previous six hours of as-it-happened coverage here) with several updates:
*National Weather Service has now upped our area to “high wind warning” status until 4 pm – warning of gusts up to 60 mph (which Alki Point has seen already) – with the lower-level “wind advisory” remaining in effect until 8 pm
*Mayor McGinn‘s 2:30 pm “town hall” at Delridge Branch Library is canceled because of the power outage caused by the pole problem seen in the photo above (thanks to Anne at Ventana Construction [WSB sponsor] for sending it – shortly afterward, we went through the area and saw City Light working on repairs. Delridge was closed southbound at the time but the crew appeared to be wrapping up.
*Via Twitter, Cam reports a broken/wobbling pole just north of The Junction, with Seattle Police closing Andover between California and 42nd – similar problem is affecting Dakota (many people have been messaging us to ask about this).
*Some in North Delridge and on Pigeon Point who had been without power the past couple hours have just reported they’re back.
*The wind is wreaking havoc with fences in some spots -
(added) That photo was taken at a home along Erskine Way.
Thanks for the storm reports – 206-293-6302 (text or voice) or e-mail email@example.com – more to come.
2:39 PM UPDATE: The photo above is from SW Dakota at California, blocked off because of downed lines. Any place you see police/yellow tape, today it’s more likely to be that type of problem than a crime scene. Meantime, we’ve just received photos of somebody going surfing near Alki Point – first photo is from John Legge:
Bryan Jones says the surfer caught at least one wave, briefly, not long after this:
3:29 PM UPDATE: Two updates with photos shared via the WSB Facebook page – Trileigh Tucker reports trees down inside Lincoln Park, blocking paths in some cases:
And from “Mt. Hood’s Most Wanted” – the aforementioned surfer, actually catching a wave:
Some West Seattleites are still without power – the biggest pocket, as shown on the Seattle City Light outage map, appears to be in the Lowman Beach vicinity. City Light says it’s hoping to have three-fourths of those without power around its service area – North Seattle’s been hit the hardest – back by 8 pm.
4 PM UPDATE: Traffic note, though we’re not sure if it’s storm-related – southbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge exit, there’s a one-vehicle rollover; scanner traffic indicates no one’s hurt.
5:35 PM UPDATE: The alerts/advisories have all expired – our area is now “in the clear” on the National Weather Service/Seattle home-page map. However, the Lowman Beach/north Lincoln Park area outage isn’t fixed yet. And that’s brought a generator to Lowman Beach’s Murray Pump Station:
We’re checking with the county to see if there was any overflow because of the outage.
7:01 PM UPDATE: Just went around to see how things looked as night fell. Dusk at Constellation Park – still blustery/choppy, as our quick Instagram clip shows:
A section of south Gatewood Hill was still out, with traffic lights dark lining both sides of California SW for a few blocks. That part of the outage isn’t shown on the official map, though.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This was our coverage from 8 am until almost 2 pm; our current storm report is here)
(Thanks to Michael de Haan for the whitecaps/falling-leaves view of Elliott Bay!)
8:05 AM: If you’ve looked, or been, outside, you know the wind has kicked up as predicted. The alert from the National Weather Service is still a “wind advisory,” in effect until 8 pm, with sustained wind expected up to about 35 mph out of the south-southwest, gusts to 45 or so. We’ll update if the forecast changes; please let us know if there’s major weather-related trouble where you are, or if any scheduled events are canceled/postponed by the weather – 206-293-6302 text or voice if it’s urgent, firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise. Thanks!
8:30 AM UPDATE: Getting the first power-outage reports of the day – so far, from Highland Park, from Puget Ridge, from Riverview. Traffic light is reported out at 8th/Roxbury. (As of 8:45 am, these outages are NOT yet on the City Light map; please be sure to call SCL if you’re out.)
9 AM UPDATE: City Light says the outages are at least in part related to a vehicle hitting a pole. A commenter says that crash is on Highland Park Way. More than 2,000 homes/businesses affected so far. Meantime, weather readings at the top of the hour include a 52-mph gust at Alki Point (K91S on this list).
9:13 AM UPDATE: 1-car crash reported on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct @ Seneca offramp. Per scanner, the Seneca offramp will be closed for a while because of it.
9:27 AM UPDATE: The outage is now on City Light’s map; screengrab above. Though they are referring to it as “Delridge,” that’s only in the sense of the city’s description of ALL of east West Seattle as “Delridge” – the outage areas, as already mentioned here, are east of Delridge. Meantime, we found the crash that is blamed for at least some of the outage – it’s in the 7000 block of Highland Park Way:
9:40 AM UPDATE: Beth says the Admiral Way exit off the bridge is closed. Don’t know why – we’re monitoring scanner and other channels, haven’t heard anything.
10:08 AM UPDATE: If you’re reading this on your phone, here’s the mobile link to the City Light outage map. Note that the 2,000+ customers without power in our area stretch past Roxbury into White Center. We’ve just been down to Alki Point, which is recording the strongest wind:
Also note that the hardy cleanup crew along the bike trail beneath the bridge IS out – we found them too! Our event list for the day has been delayed because of storm coverage but our calendar is open 24/7.
10:47 AM UPDATE: Power flickers at 41st/Genesee, according to @JunctionMeg via Twitter. City Light map, meantime, shows most of the West Seattle/White Center outage zone no longer out, confirming what commenters are saying (but let us know if you’re experiencing otherwise!).
11:24 AM UPDATE: Scattered outages continue to happen – just received e-mail about power just going out in the West Marginal/17th SW vicinity. Shortly thereafter, also heard from Lowman Beach and Pigeon Point, where Pete Spalding reports, “We have lived in our house for 14 years this month and for the very first time we have lost power.”
11:48 AM UPDATE: Part of North Delridge, too. And a reminder – don’t assume somebody already called in your outage; City Light requests calls at 206-684-7400 or 206-684-3000. Also out, part of east Gatewood, per commenter Tony. The City Light map doesn’t appear to have caught up with the latest West Seattle outage reports yet, so be cautious in using it to judge where you should travel. Also, if you aren’t tracking citywide reports, the 520 bridge is closed because of big waves. *added* Also, reports of wires down in the 6700 block of Murray near Lowman Beach, plus 14th/Holly.
12:24 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, traffic signal at Delridge/Oregon is out.
1:57 PM UPDATE: We’ve just launched an afternoon report with new developments – please go here for further updates and to share comments from here on out – thanks!
(Beautiful leaves that might not be on the tree much longer! Photo by Karen Sykes)
First, a “special weather statement” warned it might get windy … now, the National Weather Service has just upped that to a wind advisory, in effect as of 8 am tomorrow. It predicts south-southwest wind 20 to 35 mph, with 45 mph gusts possible. See the full alert here.
The National Weather Service has a “special weather statement” out for our area, expecting things to get breezy, maybe even windy, late in the day tomorrow and on into Monday. Here’s the full text of the alert. The NWS isn’t predicting HIGH wind – likely 15-25 mph with possible gusts to about 40 – but it’ll be coming out of the north, which the NWS describes as rare. On the bright side, the conditions that are expected to bring this breeziness are the ones that have finally sent away the seemingly endless (yet lovely at times) fog.
SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE: Here’s the newest version of the “special weather statement” – still the same basic outlook, some wind (but NOT windstorm level) out of the north kicking up this afternoon, strongest along the shoreline.
Fog is so much more beautiful when you’re viewing it from a distance, whether above, as in Long Bach Nguyen‘s toward-West-Seattle aerial above, or David Town‘s port-peek photo below:
From an unsigned reader:
From Trileigh Tucker:
Katt Thompson captioned the next one “Peekaboo Water Taxi”:
Might add more later! Thanks to everyone who’s shared photos!
(Click image for larger view)
Thanks to Dustin T. Smith for sharing his sunset view of the Olympic Mountains and the centennial-celebrating Alki Point Lighthouse. (If you’re interested in the technical points of the image, Dustin posted notes on the photo page he shared via the WSB Flickr group.) Looks like more sunset views ahead this week, with a rainless forecast stretching days ahead.
(Photo added: M/V Kaleetan off Alki with storm advancing from the north, around 10:15 am)
10:59 AM: Lightning, thunder, downpour, then hail – all in the past 15 minutes or so! How is it where you are?
11:19 AM UPDATE: We stand corrected – technically not hail. Some kind of ice pellet, sleet, frozen rain, etc. See/hear for yourself in our Instagram clip from inside the car. (If you can’t see it above, go here.) The National Weather Service’s “short-term forecast” alert said this would last until about 11:15 am, and since the rain has eased up a lot, they seem to be right!
1:25 PM UPDATE: And the wild weather is back – after a sunbreak, the rain resumed, then a few minutes ago, thunder and now it looks like that icy rain/sleet/etc. again …
Thanks to everyone who’s sharing views of tonight’s sunset show – second bright night in a row, this time following a summer-like day! Above, from Upper Alki, courtesy of JayDee; next, a texter shared the Charlestown Hill view:
And from Tony in Gatewood – the “before” view:
We’re collecting others to add to a gallery here – more to come.
ADDED: By Nicole, featuring Seahawk spirit:
Taken near Lincoln Park, by Trileigh Tucker:
What looks to be a busy news day is off and running, but first: The morning began with a text (206-293-6302 any time) about a possible whale sighting off Me-Kwa-Mooks. Co-publisher Patrick Sand headed down the hill to look; no marine mammals in sight, but he did catch the sun turning Olympic Mountains peaks pink, briefly. So we’re sharing the photo but asking that for today’s calendar preview, you go directly to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – several items of note, including West Seattle High School Family Curriculum Night, the fall dinner benefiting Transitional Resources, and more – but we’ve got to get on to the news of the day. Each calendar item leads to a standalone web page with map and details – just click the plus sign at the right side of the entry, and then the “more” link on the lower right. Thanks!
Thanks to Max (top left), Heather (top right), Pete (lower left), Maria (lower right) for this evening’s rainbow photos – click any/all to see a larger version!
No, not down here. The snow seen from West Seattle today is on the Olympic Mountains, glimpsed briefly this morning from Luna/Anchor Park. In fact, the Olympics are under a Winter Weather Advisory until tomorrow morning.
P.S. Some snow in the Cascades too – and if that has you thinking about skiing, do note that two ski shuttles operated from West Seattle last year; when the season gets closer and we hear updates on this year’s availability, we’ll share the news.
(Added 10:09 pm: Photo by Tom Marx)
(NOTE: We’re keeping these updates “pinned” to the top of the home page while the warning’s in effect – so there’s newer news BELOW this story on the home page – scroll below this story to see it.)
5:21 PM: Six hours after the National Weather Service upped its alert to a High Wind Warning – see it here – it’s officially in effect. The forecast is for wind picking up this evening, “increasing from the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.” Rain continues too, and our area is under a Flood Watch until noon tomorrow. Updates to come.
6:03 PM: Evening’s first traffic problem – a crash reported on the downhill side of Roxbury/Olson/4th. Uphill side had a mishap earlier (see our photo on Twitter).
7:49 PM: Roxbury seems to be the trouble nexus tonight. Now there’s a report of vehicle/bicycle collision on the county side around 26th/Roxbury. Meantime, check the comment section for weather analyst MetPatrick‘s updates and other discussion on how the storm is turning.
8:37 PM: Traffic note – Kim says via Twitter that there’s a median crash on Admiral Way, a few blocks east of California. No medics dispatched, per 911 log. Meantime, the weather experts are starting to say the winds will NOT be so strong because of where the “low” made landfall – see MetPatrick’s comment below, and see weather analyst Cliff Mass‘s update.
9:29 PM: The National Weather Service’s evening “forecast discussion” is up. NWS also mentions a diminishe(d) threat but says it’s not ready to drop the warnings yet (caps theirs): “BESIDES THE INCREASING PRESSURE GRADIENTS…THERE ARE SOME STRONG WINDS JUST OFF THE SURFACE WHICH COULD MIX DOWN IN THE UNSTABLE AIR BEHIND THE FRONT.”
10:47 PM: First downed-tree report we’ve had since Saturday:
That tree’s down along the sidewalk by the drop-off mailboxes outside the Junction Post Office – note the Hi-Yu mural in the background. Thanks to Jamie Hanley for the photo.
11:25 PM: Via text – a tree branch is down on the road in the Orchard/Dumar/Myrtle vicinity just east of Delridge.
11:56 PM: And a new problem – a crash on Highland Park Way hill, between Holden and West Marginal Way, is closing it off both ways; apparently they need to call City Light in for a pole problem.
2 AM: The wind warning has been downgraded to a wind advisory, in effect until 6 am.
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