West Seattle snow: Monday pm updates; what’s next

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story will stay atop the home page through the evening, but we’lll be adding new stories, snow and non-snow, beneath it – scroll down!)

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
2:30 PM: Here’s where things stand as the afternoon commute, for those who weren’t off on this MLK Day, approaches:

–Main roads in West Seattle are in great shape.
–Bridge, Viaduct the same.
–Side roads may still have spotty problems, though one of our nearest offenders is almost as bare and wet as the nearest arterial.
If you encounter a road problem, please advise (comment, or text/call 206-293-6302) so we can share the news.

In the forecast department – we appear to be in the calm between the storms. We’ve had some flurries today but no real added accumulation. (The sun is even peeking through as we write this.) The chance of snow showers remains in the forecast through the night – maybe good for another inch or so, maybe not. The forecasters are continuing to warn that a BIG round of snow may be on the way for tomorrow night/Wednesday – see the “winter storm watch.”

More to come. And new photos welcome, too – we’ll be creating a spot for them a little later this afternoon. (If you’re looking for our morning/midday coverage – including today’s closures – go here.)

4:53 PM: So far a trouble-free commute by all accounts. And the city is clearly gearing up for tonight and beyond – a de-icer truck just stopped in front of WSB HQ (we ran out with a camera; he says he’s assigned to “high hills and bridges”), while a snowplow headed by on the nearest arterial. Commenters are discussing the situation with school tomorrow; we’ll publish any announcements we get as soon as they come in, private as well as public. Metro just reiterated that it’s on snow routing TFN. No trash pickup today? As noted in our morning report, Seattle Public Utilities had said they would have trouble in “hilly” locations; Waste Management said their crews were running two hours late. We are watching for any school-closure reports for tomorrow – please let us know if you hear of any we haven’t reported. Seattle Public Schools notes that they typically decide by 5:30 am.

5:37 PM: Here’s the Weather Service’s infographic for tonight into tomorrow – we’re in the “1 to 3 inches possible” zone.

5:51 PM: Just out of the inbox, the city’s words of warning:

SEATTLE – With weather forecasts predicting significant accumulations of snow in Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn urged residents to be prepared for a series of winter storms over the next few days. The National Weather Service predicts lowland areas, including Seattle, could get three to seven inches of snow through Tuesday morning. They are also forecasting the possibility of another six to 12 inches of snow over the lowlands on Wednesday.

“With the possibility of significant snowfall, we are urging residents to be prepared,” said McGinn. “The Seattle Department of Transportation is treating major streets around the clock, our Emergency Operations Center is activated and other city departments are taking readiness steps. The public should get ready as well, making sure they have needed supplies in the event we do get a lot of snow.”

The City of Seattle also recommends that residents:

· Consider options now for travel, staying off the roads if possible.
· Move cars off streets, if possible, to aid with snow removal.
· Check on neighbors, especially the vulnerable.
· Wrap pipes and outdoor faucets to prevent ruptured pipes and flooding inside homes.
· Turn faucets to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
· Be careful how they choose to heat or light their homes. Open flames and unattended candles are dangerous. Do not bring open stoves or gas grills inside as the fumes can be poisonous and deadly.
· Find and clear street storm drains. Snow followed by rain can clog drains and cause flooding.
· Have coats, hats, gloves and blankets at hand to stay warm during possible power outages.
· Bring pets indoors.
· Only call 911 in a life-threatening emergency.

Businesses and residents are reminded to keep their sidewalks clear to help pedestrians walk safely. Pedestrians should be cautious on snow or ice covered surfaces.

We have some driving advice, meantime, from WSB sponsors West Seattle Autoworks, via Facebook. Among them: Use lower transmission gears to go downhill more slowly. (Slow driving – slow and steady – can get you through a precarious situation.)

6:43 PM: Looking for today’s fun snow photos? Find them here. (And we’re still adding more.) And as we typed that – snow started falling again.

71 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Monday pm updates; what's next"

  • JanS January 16, 2012 (2:42 pm)

    TR.. KOMO just ran an advisory across the screen…winter storm watch for tonite and tomorrow – 3-6 inches…before the “major” event on Wednesday of 6″….what a strange winter it’s been…

    time to go get TP – lol…

  • Diane January 16, 2012 (2:44 pm)

    are all buses back to regular routes?
    the 51 has been off snow route, doing regular runs down 37th, which can be helpful to get folks in the area to junction stores

  • MikeRussellFoto January 16, 2012 (2:46 pm)

    I saw that you retweeted my link (thanks!) but thought I’d add it here too for those not on Twitter. :)

    I took this photo in North Admiral late yesterday afternoon, just before another flurry arrived.

  • Diane January 16, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    Michael McGinn just posted on fb: “Now at Our Emergency Operations Center. Current forecast is 3-7 inches Tuesday morning, 6-12 more Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. A good time to make plans for snow, and check on your neighbors.”
    totally agree with the ‘check on your neighbors’ part

  • cass January 16, 2012 (2:57 pm)

    anybody know if garbage collection schedule has changed at all?

  • rebecca January 16, 2012 (3:09 pm)

    Think I read on here or the WS Herald garbage collection is business as usual today, with the exception of some of the hillier neighborhoods.

  • JanS January 16, 2012 (3:24 pm)

    cass…from another blog post : “TRASH PICKUP:
    Seattle Public Utilities says it’s a normal day BUT “customers should note that collections will be restricted in hilly locations.” I think reports said that they were running about 2 hours late., and that if they missed you to please leave it out an extra day…

  • Steph January 16, 2012 (3:25 pm)

    Any idea when schools will make the decision about being closed or starting late? Or will I just get to be surprised when I wake up tomorrow?

  • sam-c January 16, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    from the latest report linked above:
    funny- I’ve been watching strong winds coming the south all day long…wonder what will happen. Cliff Mass updated his blog. seems like something will surely happen wednesday.

  • watertowerjoey January 16, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    Cliff Mass just updated his weather blog……..it may change tonight, but the models are showing a major event Wednesday morning with lingering cold temps (they previously thought it would warm and melt). Stay tuned!


  • Kayleigh January 16, 2012 (3:56 pm)

    54 coming out of downtown was barely half full. Took about an hour due to the LONG re-route. Roads are much better than this morning.

  • Tony January 16, 2012 (3:57 pm)


    DISTRICT: Winter weather – How to find out if your school is delayed or canceled
    When we are expecting snow or inclement weather, a Seattle Public Schools Central Office team continually monitors conditions across the District. After consulting with other agencies, we will decide whether to delay school by two hours or if a closure is necessary. You can learn if school will be delayed or closed through: local TV and radio stations, the District website at http://www.seattleschools.org, an automated phone call you will receive, and the Public Schools Emergency Communications System at http://www.SchoolReport.org.

  • Bonnie January 16, 2012 (4:20 pm)

    Steph, you’ll probably be surprised in the morning.

  • LE January 16, 2012 (4:42 pm)

    The district will wake everyone up at 5:00am with autobot calls telling us we can sleep in.

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (4:45 pm)

    Hey patrick, what is your forecast for the upcoming snow event?

    • WSB January 16, 2012 (4:50 pm)

      I know the district calls everyone these days but we also will be checking all night and early in the am on the school outlook. They’ll have a difficult call to make, since the question is probably not so much whether there’ll be snow/ice trouble in the morning as whether they’ll get everybody to school and then have trouble getting them home.
      To the person who asked about the photo roundup – I’m just starting it now, have received some great pix during the day. Will add the link here soon as it’s going. – TR

  • Larry January 16, 2012 (5:03 pm)

    No garbage/yard/food waste or recycle picked up in the 2300 block of Walnut.

  • Tony January 16, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    Is the post office still delivering mail?

    • WSB January 16, 2012 (5:46 pm)

      Today would have been a mail holiday since it’s a federal holiday – tomorrow, I imagine they’ll be back on their unstoppable rounds … TR

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (5:53 pm)

    Quick update for those of you interested.

    Looking at the newest guidance it appears that most areas receive between 3-8 inches overnight into tomorrow afternoon ( early ) and then it picks up again late Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon with an additional 6-18 inches. ( the higher amounts near the foothills and higher elevations, I would not be surprised if DT Seattle received close to a foot or a little more.

    Keep warm and STAY SAFE!!!

    This is a major winter storm coming in.

  • Dean January 16, 2012 (5:55 pm)

    I want my mommy!

  • Taylore January 16, 2012 (6:05 pm)

    I drive for King County Metro. Today I was driving the 15, 18, 22 and the 21. I was on time with my schedule, as all the major arterials were clear and de-iced. Metro had the snow routes in place, with the shuttles going into the neighbourhoods where snow could be a problem. The 40 footers work well on the packed snow, unlike the artics. What a switch from a couple years back.
    I’m sure it will be just as smooth tomorrow .

  • a January 16, 2012 (6:06 pm)

    We’re unplugging our home phone for the next few nights. We don’t need the district call at 5am. We can wake at our normal time (7am) and check the news. The calls are silly.

  • Tony January 16, 2012 (6:10 pm)

    Thanks TR, I totally forgot!

  • WSB January 16, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    Meteorologist Patrick, thank you for the updates!

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (6:27 pm)

    @ WSB, no problem, and I just took a look at the early NAM run out to 24 hours and it now appears that earlier models showing the storm further south are NOW being backed up by the NAM, so IF this holds true, we will likely NOT turn over to rain until Midday Thursday at the earliest meaning the snow totals I threw out would likely need to be DOUBLED.

    I will update as soon as the full run of the NAM comes out, either way, we are pegged to get slammed starting 24 hours from NOW….

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (6:30 pm)

    0Z NAM out to 36 hrs now and it shows the LOW making landfall at the mouth of the Columbia River on the WA/OR border thus giving those of us on the north side of the storm a prolonged and more sever event, HOWEVER, I am waiting for the full run as I posted above to make a final decision.

  • curious January 16, 2012 (6:36 pm)

    Woohoo! Snowing in Westwood.

  • bsmomma January 16, 2012 (6:48 pm)

    And so it begins………snowing in N. Admiral

  • soundDogswims January 16, 2012 (6:49 pm)

    Flakes the size of popped corn just began here in Highland Park.

    Round two. Ready or not! Be safe. Have fun.

  • MikeRussellFoto January 16, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    @ Patrick – Yikes! OK, time to go find my snowshoes.

  • Bonnie January 16, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Snowing in Fauntlee Hills.

  • Westgirl January 16, 2012 (7:10 pm)

    Snowing at the Alaska Junction!

  • Cami January 16, 2012 (7:11 pm)

    Just got the call from Seattle Public Schools that all schools are 2 hours late tomorrow!

    • WSB January 16, 2012 (7:16 pm)

      Us too – I just put it up as a separate story and will add other school changes to it. Thank you. – TR

  • Admiral Lady January 16, 2012 (7:39 pm)

    Snowing in North Admiral!

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (8:15 pm)

    I DONT want to freak anyone out but the full run of the NAM just came in and it now shows the LOW offshore coming ashore @ Tillamook Oregon and racing Northeast towards Spokane keeping us here in Western Washington cold and VERY snowy now until at least LATE Thursday night meaning that final snow storm totals on the order of 12-30 inches ( YES I SAID 12-30 INCHES ) if the 00ZGFS also shows the same landfall for the storm, this could be the biggest storm since 1969… PLEASE STAY TUNED!

  • Sue January 16, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    Patrick, you’re not making any friends in my house. :) I hope you’re very, very wrong.

  • WSB January 16, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    I’ve been quoting you on Twitter … will be interested to see what NWS says in the forecast discussion an hour from now … TR

  • smokeycretin9 January 16, 2012 (8:29 pm)

    Hey T.R. can we get a “Patrick Post” somewhere as to keep up on his information?

    THanks again WSB and Partick.

    oh yeah, THe Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore is in route to Seattle to report on TheMoreYouSnow 2012

  • Cait January 16, 2012 (8:36 pm)

    No action down here on Delridge yet tonight. Watching Betty White until there’s snow to gaze at :)

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (8:41 pm)

    Early frames of the GFS now show a more northerly landfall, somewhere near Astoria Oregon, this is still south of our area and looks to keep snow going over many areas with a possible and brief ZR ( freezing rain ) transition before going back to snow. One thing to note folks is that the models have flipped and flopped so much that any clear solution even 24 hours out seems to be all but certain even when there is consensus amongst the models showing a severe event. Like I posted yesterday, the models may end up doing us absolutely no good and we may have to rely solely on Satellite imagery to track and see here the aforementioned storm ACTUALLY comes ashore.

  • soundDogswims January 16, 2012 (8:41 pm)

    False start on Round Two of this “event” from HPark if the fluffy snowflakes don’t stick. Right?

    Did he say 30″? Hmmm.
    I remember 1969’s snow storm.
    That would be a lot of snow.

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    Patrick keep us posted on the gfs runs! thanks

  • Sue January 16, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    smokeycretin9, if Jim Cantore is on his way, we’re screwed. :)

  • Franci January 16, 2012 (9:05 pm)

    I too remember the snowstorm of ’69. I was living in Tumwater. Best I can recall school was closed for 2 weeks due to the snow! We had two feet of snow in our yard, it seemed to last forever. That said – I am supposed to fly to San Diego on Thursday afternoon.. :( Hope I can get to the airport AND that the plane can take off!

  • cclarue January 16, 2012 (9:06 pm)

    Who is jim cantore?

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (9:07 pm)

    GFS out to 3 hours now has snow further south, from Mt. Vernon south, now shows NO SNOW for Bellingham and keeps the cold air around until 2 am Friday morning meaning we stay cold and snowy and the GFS now ALSO shows a secondary and weaker storm on the heels of Wednesday’s storm meaning we in the Puget sound area could see an additional 6-10 inches with the second storm. I suspect the ” FINAL ” call will be made in the overnight or early am hours per the NWS once all new model guidance comes in. OH and if that isn’t enough, the newest SREF model shows possible blizzard conditions for the central sound if the newest GFS is correct as very strong northerly winds will be prevalent.

  • amy January 16, 2012 (9:07 pm)

    No trash pick-up in my “hilly” area. Not surprised, my alley is hairy when it snows. (Junction area).

    Happy for AWD.

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (9:09 pm)

    @ cclarue: Jim Cantore is a Meteorologist who works for the Weather Channel is arguably the BEST Meteorologist in America, the guy is amazing and has nailed forecasts with pinpoint accuracy many many times.

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (9:21 pm)


  • shed22 January 16, 2012 (9:21 pm)

    WSB… I have been reading Patrick as one of the WSB duo (trio)… is this for real? Seems VERY serious, if so. Please let us know if this is officially endorsed by WSB or just a forum member with his (her) own interpretation of the forecast. Thank you!

    • WSB January 16, 2012 (9:30 pm)

      He is NOT co-publisher Patrick, who studied weather in school but is not a meteorologist, no way no how. Comments are comments and not officially endorsed – but meteorologist commenter Patrick clearly has access to the data that the publicly known meteorologists are using (see http://cliffmass.blogspot.com for his similar take this afternoon). As he notes, it is an inexact science, and every meteorologist within 100 miles could turn out to be wrong. That said, if someone who so far seems to be credible notes an interpretation like this, my belief is “better safe than sorry” and we’re stepping up our readiness, which is critical, as we are committed to be publishing no matter what – TR

    • WSB January 16, 2012 (9:32 pm)

      And that said, the National Weather Service has JUST issued its 9:30 pm “forecast discussion.” Note they’re saying what our commenter/weatherguy said – the rainy melt may NOT be what was previously advertised:

  • shed22 January 16, 2012 (9:41 pm)

    Thank you, WSB. The forum “Patrick” is a bit reactionary. I will continue to follow the official blog announcements. Forum member “Patrick” seems to be exceptional (in the definitive).

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (9:42 pm)

    Patrick seems to be the one who has been right all along lol.

  • Sue January 16, 2012 (9:44 pm)

    cclarue, Jim Cantore is the Jim Forman of the Weather Channel – he’s usually the one you see chasing tornadoes and hurricanes and is in the middle of very bad weather events. If they’re sending him out, they believe this will be a very big deal.

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (9:45 pm)

    anything new patrick ? I agree with Sue!

  • Dc January 16, 2012 (10:08 pm)

    So does this mean tomorrow should be ok but not Wednesday? I’m trying to decide about work!
    When/ where is this possible blizzard?
    I get stuck for hours on the highway for every snowstorm it seems like and hope to avoid it this year.

  • chloe January 16, 2012 (10:12 pm)

    Thank you WSB and forum members for the great weather updates!! A special shout out to meteorologist Patrick, thank you for your updates on the latest models!! You’ve been ahead of the news thats for sure, do you have your own weather blog somewhere for your new found followers?

  • smokeycretin9 January 16, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    Names for #Seattle snow 2012-





  • Snow in highland park January 16, 2012 (10:23 pm)

    Same question- should I go to work early tomorrow via bus but leave no later than 3:00pm to come home? ugh. I just want to stay home. Last big snow it took me 7 hours on a bus to get home from downtown to west Seattle. I really dont want to go in if it’s going to be a mess. What are y’all planning on doing? Going in or not?

  • D1 January 16, 2012 (10:23 pm)

    @Patrick, What is that final GFS report?

  • Nick January 16, 2012 (10:27 pm)

    I honestly love the snow (including rain, wind and thunderstorms). I honestly hate the sun and i wish it would burn out.

  • Patrick January 16, 2012 (10:33 pm)

    @ D1, the final outcome right now is prepare for heavy snow, cold temps and NO WARM-UP ( if any ) per the GFS, NAM, ECMWF, SREF, MM5 and GEM models.

    And now it looks like we get another 6-10 inches on Thursday!!!


  • D1 January 16, 2012 (10:39 pm)

    Thanks, So if this pans out what could seattle have for total snowfall amouts thursday? And how is the blizzard conditions looking ?

  • KL January 16, 2012 (11:14 pm)

    Raining right now in Admiral district. :( My kids will be so disappointed when they wake up and the snow is gone! Any chance this rain will turn to snow at some point, or were the weather folks just totally wrong as usual?

  • Lura Ercolano January 16, 2012 (11:42 pm)

    KL, the weather folks have been talking about TWO different storms. The baby storm arrives Tuesday afternoon, and the big mother storm arrives Wednesday. As far as overnight tonight, nobody is predicting more than random small snow.

    So it could rain all night and it wouldn’t mean they were wrong, as it is not yet Wednesday.

    Even if the Wednesday snow is at the lower end of the predicted range, that wouldn’t mean they were wrong, as the prediction is a range.

  • Blunt Speak January 16, 2012 (11:45 pm)

    raining/windy not snowing in Genesee. looks like all of the hype was for nothing.

    • WSB January 17, 2012 (12:20 am)

      Absolutely difficult to believe more snow is on the way when what we’ve had is melted now. But I’ve seen this movie before … with various endings :)

Sorry, comment time is over.